Setting the scene for Canada

Setting the scene for Canada

As Formula 1 gets excited about returning to Canada, it's the hangover from events in Turkey that has dominated the Montreal build-up, as Edd Straw recounts

Four-and-a-half decades ago, the city of Montreal dumped 15 million tonnes of rock into the St Lawrence Seaway to create the Ile Notre Dame. On the evidence of today, the efforts of the people of Quebec were in vain as relentless rain drenched the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and blurred the distinction between land and water to the point where Formula 1 aerodynamicists must have considered adapting their skills to hydrodynamics. But for all that, the F1 circus was universally delighted to be back in Canada and very grateful for the city deciding that a good use for the rubble excavated to create the Montreal Metro would be to build an island.

This is the first time that F1 has set foot in North America for two years, the longest gap between world championship events since the whole thing started back in 1950. While those points-paying Indianapolis 500s of the first 11 world championship seasons were literally pointless as far as the European drivers were concerned, any sporting competition worth its salt needs to run on these shores. That's why everyone is so pleased to be back, unless, of course, it's that downtown Montreal is one of the most pleasant places to while away the off-duty hours on the F1 calendar?

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