2012 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Canada: Sights and Sound

“Hey man, I have an extra ticket for the F1 race on Sunday, you should come”

That was the message I received from my friend Leo on Friday morning. On Saturday morning we, my friend Bill and I, still had no car, no hotel reservations and no tickets for the race. Yet we managed to arrive in Montreal by 9:00pm in a nice BMW, check into a very nice Sheraton, meet Leo for dinner, and enjoy the races on Sunday.

Sometimes things just have a way of working out unplanned, and sometimes the best of plans don’t pan out. Such is life. My wife needed our car so I couldn’t drive that (we’re a one car family) and Bill couldn’t really drive his M3 because he is way past the mileage allowance on his lease. I made a phone call to my good friend Steve:

“Hey, how’s your hot wife and cute kids? That’s great. Hey, how do you feel about driving a nice 2011 BMW M3 for the weekend? Yea… cool, it’s yours… there’s just one thing…”

And so that’s how we ended driving Steve’s super mint BMW 330i ZHP to Montreal.

Despite having what I thought were really good seats, right on turn 10, the hairpin, of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the pictures wouldn’t come out great from there. Therefore I got a video of the first lap giving you my perspective on the race. The screen in the background was too small to see any details without binoculars. The cars are moving seemingly slow but the truth that they are slowing down from about 180mph to 60mph through the curve.

[youtube width=”640″ height=”360″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy3Y4tndzVM[/youtube]

Ah, but the noise. If you never heard F1 cars at WOT or under breaking/downshifting you are missing out on one of the most glorious automotive noises in the world. I was expecting more noise from where I was (there was plenty of it, believe me) but the real noise was behind the cars as they were slowing down for the car and once they were really on it, which was past turn 11, on the straight, which was too far. Still, it was better watching the cars go by at their slowest than having them shoot past you at ludicrous speed.

Pictures of the F1 cars are everywhere on the net, therefore I chose to walk around the paddock where the Porsche Cup and Ferrari Challenge race cars, among others from the Canadian Touring Car Championship. The Porsche teams varied from small individual enclosed trailer and a pickup truck to full-on multi-car NASCAR-like tractor trailers. Ferrari guys stepped that up with full dealer-sponsored teams with amazing trailers, tents, and equipment such as telemetry, alignment machines, and tons of spare parts.

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