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Canada GP in damage control after troubled F1 weekend

Canada GP in damage control after troubled F1 weekend
© Reuters
In the aftermath of last weekend's Formula 1 race in Montreal, both Canadian race organizers and local officials have been actively managing the fallout from several operational mishaps.

In the aftermath of last weekend's Formula 1 race in Montreal, both Canadian race organizers and local officials have been actively managing the fallout from several operational mishaps.

While Formula 1 enthusiasts enjoyed a thrilling race under fluctuating weather conditions, various logistical issues marred the event's overall execution.

Serious concerns arose, notably an unauthorized rush of spectators onto the track post-race and infrastructure failings like flooding and leaks in the garages that housed the teams.

The sport's governing body, the FIA, criticized the local organizers, Octane Racing Group, for their failure "to take reasonable measures, resulting in a dangerous situation."

Transportation issues also emerged, with some drivers missing important schedules due to traffic blockages and shut-downs of main access roads, sparking tensions with the local law enforcement. Additionally, downtown businesses were significantly disrupted, compelled to evacuate by directives from the Montreal fire department.

Formula 1's chief executive, Stefano Domenicali, felt compelled to extend a personal apology to the teams for the chaotic circumstances, as reported by QMI press agency.

Tourism minister Caroline Proulx expressed her dismay, stating, "I am extremely concerned and very embarrassed by what I read and by what I experienced at the grand prix.

"My job is to bring tourists to Quebec. It is my job to ensure that the image is perfect internationally, particularly in an event like Formula 1, where there are a billion viewers. A billion viewers! So yes, I'm uncomfortable, and I didn't like what I witnessed."

Further steps are being planned, including an anticipated meeting between Domenicali and Montreal's Mayor Valerie Plante, as broadcasted by TVA Nouvelles. "It was the CEO of Formula 1 who sent a letter to Ms Plante to request the meeting," the report indicated, "with the aim of making improvements for the next race in 2025."

Le Journal de Montreal revealed that race promoter Octane acknowledged the unacceptable level of race management and confirmed an ongoing investigation.

A strategy for addressing these issues must be presented to the FIA by the end of September, with a journalist from Le Journal de Montreal commenting, "I would be surprised if the future of the grand prix was in immediate danger.

"But the city and the event organizers will have to act quickly, otherwise we could see the end of F1 in Montreal."

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Stefano Domenicali at the Italian GP on August 31, 2023
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