Daniel Ricciardo et Sebastian Vettel in the 2016 Canadian Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo et Sebastian Vettel in the 2016 Canadian Grand Prix. Crowds are even bigger this year thanks to Lance Stroll
Photo Credit: Getty Images/CHRIS ROUSSAKIS/AFP via Radio-Canada

Formula 1 comes to Canada: hopes for Canadian driver

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The circus is in town

The crowds have come to downtown Montreal for this year’s Canadian Grand Prix.

The bars are full and some streets have been closed off for F1 related events. Many are also watching for sights of Hollywood and music stars rumoured (and likely) to be in town for this major international event.

The ticket sales are said to be up this year and many are attributing that to the fact that for the first time in a decade, a Canadian will be driving in the race.

Canadian Lance Stroll will be a big hit in his home province when he makes his first appearance in Formula One’s Montreal Grand Prix June 11.
Canadian Lance Stroll will be a big hit in his home province when he makes his first appearance in Formula One’s Montreal Grand Prix June 11 this weekend © Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Lance Stroll, still a teenager, was born in Quebec and has had a lifelong interest in racing, supported by a well-off father.

“It’s a dream to race here”- Lance Stroll

Lance moved to Europe when he was 12 to pursue a career in racing, training at the Ferrari and Williams racing schools.

Lance Stroll, just 18, is in his first season with Williams F1 racing team.
Lance Stroll, is in his first season with Williams F1 racing team. He’s completed only two of six races, but hopes are high for his race in front of friends and family here. © (Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

He signed with Williams F1 team this year, after easily winning the European F3 series. So far however, it’s been a rocky start in F1 for the Canadian,  finishing only two of six races and earning no points.

Stroll is optimistic with the Canadian race though as is race promoter Francois Dumontier who is quoted in the CBC saying, “It’s the first time he’ll race here on, top of the emotion, I think the crowd might give him a push”.

Montreal’s Crescent Street with its several bars and restaurants, is closed to traffic on race week and always packed. Several F1 related demos and contests take place in the heady atmosphere surrounding the Canadian Grand Prix
Montreal’s Crescent Street with its several bars and restaurants, is closed to traffic on race week and always packed. Several F1 related demos and contests take place in the heady atmosphere surrounding the Canadian Grand Prix © Peter McCabe/The Canadian Press

As for Stroll he said at a news conference, “”It’s a dream to race in the grand prix in Montreal. It’ll be very emotional. My family and friends are here and a lot of people are coming this weekend to watch me, so it’ll be very special.”

The last Canadian in Formula 1 was Jacques Villeneuve, son of the legendary driver Gilles Villeneuve. Jacques drove from 1996 to 2006 and won the Canadian GP in 1997.

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