The Canadian Grand Prix is set to go ahead as planned next year after an agreement was reached between the event organizers and Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone this week.
The race in Montreal had been listed on the provisional calendar as being ‘subject to agreement’ after the promised improvement work at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was not completed. The upgrades are expected to be completed for the 2019 race.
Mayor of Montreal Denis Coderre took to Twitter earlier this week to confirm that an agreement had now been reached for the 2017 event to go ahead as planned on June 11.
“There will be a Grand Prix of Canada in 2017,” Coderre tweeted, adding that there was an agreement in principle between F1 officials and the race promoter, Octane.
“Montreal and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve produce one of the most exciting grands prix of the season,” Octane chief Francois Dumontier added in a statement.
“In 2017, everyone will have even more good reasons to be there to celebrate 50 years of F1 racing in Canada.”
Canadian interest in F1 is set to be boosted next year when 18-year-old Lance Stroll makes his debut with Williams. Stroll will become the first Canadian to race in F1 since Jacques Villeneuve made his final start in 2006.
The final version of the 2017 F1 calendar is set to be issued following the final World Motor Sport Council meeting at the beginning of December in Vienna.
Following Coderre’s confirmation, 19 races are now secure on the schedule, with question marks still lingering over Germany and Brazil’s inclusion.
The Red Bull Racing pit crew may have already made headlines last weekend when it completed the fastest pit stop in Formula One history, changing Max Verstappen’s tires in 1.82 seconds, but the team’s most recent stunt took their skills to new heights – quite literally.
With the help of the Russian Space agency Roscomos, a group of the team’s mechanics completed the world’s first zero-gravity pit stop, on-board a IIyushin II-76K cosmonaut training plane.
Using a 2005 BR1, the team filmed the viral video over the course of a week, enduring seven flights and about 80 parabolas – periods in which the plane climbs 45 degrees before falling again at a ballistic arch of 45 degrees, creating a period of weightlessness for approximately 22 seconds.
With such a short time frame between weightlessness periods, the car and equipment had to be both quickly and safely secured before gravity once again took effect. Each filming lasted roughly 15 seconds, and the stunt was the most physically and technically demanding activity the live demo team had ever undertaken.
“It pushed us harder than I thought it would,” said Red Bull Support Team Mechanic Joe Robinson. “You realize how much you rely on gravity when you don’t have any!
“It challenges you to think and operate in a different way – and that was brilliant. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly, I could have stayed and done it all month. It was amazing. I think it’s the coolest, most fun thing the Live Demo team has ever done with a show car.”
Though Red Bull was the first team to perform a pit stop in zero gravity, surprisingly Red Bull was not the first team to put a car through zero gravity. In 1999, McLaren driver David Coulthard and his car experienced zero gravity as part of a promotion for then-sponsor West Cigarettes.
Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter