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Formula One - 2007 Montreal Grand Prix

 

 

I attended the Montreal Formula Grand Prix this past summer. I'd been once before in 1993, sitting at the far hairpin infield. This time I was with a group of friends right along the front straight. It would prove to be a very strange event. How so? Read on:

 

Click here to see a large panoramic shot of the view from our seats.

Saturday: Qualifying

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP
We were directly across from Ferrari's pit garage, with McLaren to the left and Renault to the right. Pathetic that the FIA has resorted to pit-lane strategy as a substitute for racing. Given that fact though, this was the view to have.

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP
Poor ING. Who wouldn't have jumped at the chance to sponsor Renault after 2 championship-winning seasons in a row. To get an idea how poorly they were doing up to that point in the 2007 season, one only need walk past their souvenir booth there at the track. Not a soul around, in stark contrast to the mobs around every other team's booth. ING: Investments Not Guaranteed

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP
Ferrari needed all the encouragement it could get. McLaren was in top form and even BMW's Heidfeld squeaked into third on the grid to leave Kimi in fourth and Masa fifth.

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP
Interesting to see the rumble strips up close. Somewhat severe for cars with almost no ground clearance and stiff suspensions.

Sunday: Race

 

2007 Montreal GP
Who could have predicted Sato taking on Alonso? I won't jump on Takuma here...David Hobbs hasn't left anything to say!

 

2007 Montreal GP
Kimi was ecstatic and he wanted the whole world to know it.

 

2007 Montreal GP
Glad I got a shot of SS while I had the chance. Poor Scott. I don't know if he rushed into F1 too quickly, just didn't get enough support from his team, or a combination of both.

 

2007 Montreal GP
This would turn out to be the fastest Jenson went all day.

 

2007 Montreal GP
1 New text message received: report to souvenir booth after race for your shift. thx

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP
Alex Wurz?! What's he doing here?!

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP
Lewis Hamilton's first pole position.

 

2007 Montreal GP
The madness that is the pre-race grid.

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP
Jean Todt, Masa, and Kimi.

 

2007 Montreal GP
The semi-retired Michael Schumacher.

 

2007 Montreal GP
The race begins but there really wasn't anything visible from our seats...except for Button's Honda. Insert 'eco-friendly powerplant' joke here.

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP
Button's long walk through the pits.

 

2007 Montreal GP
A shroud of mourning?

 

2007 Montreal GP
Hamilton races in for his first pit stop...

 

2007 Montreal GP
...

 

2007 Montreal GP
...and mere seconds later he's off.

 

2007 Montreal GP
SC = Safety Car = zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. There were four safety car periods throughout this race, throwing everyone's pitstop strategies into disarray.

Masa's first pit stop and the red army descends. I count 32 directly involved in the stop, plus a couple engineers in the background. Mouse over the photo.

 

2007 Montreal GP
Talk about cutting it close. Massa isn't even finished when Kimi pulls up.

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP
There was a helicopter hovering over the track with a movie advertisement banner hanging beneath it. Right as images of Robert Kubica's BMW slamming into a wall appear on the jumbotron, the banner falls off the chopper and it freefalls into a distant parking lot. Strange.

Kubica's accident (taking flight right in front of where I was seated while attending the '93 race):


 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP
This was sad to see. Both Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella left the pits under a red light and were immediately disqualified.

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP

Alex Wurz?!  What's he doing here?!

2007 Montreal GP
Heidfeld apparently ran out of gas on the parade lap and was pushed to park ferme, Jenson-style.

 

2007 Montreal GP

 

2007 Montreal GP

First pole position. First victory. I'm glad I was there to see it.

 

2007 Montreal GP
Between Anthony Davidson hitting a beaver groundhog on track (I kid you not), Kubica's massive flying shunt at 186 mph, Sato re-passing Alonso, Wurz finishing on the podium, four safety car periods, and only 12 of the 22 cars finishing, it was a strange one. Could have been weirder - there could have been some overtaking for the lead on-track.

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