Shittingly bad F1 journalist TRENTHAM SLEAVES looks ahead to this weekend’s race
There’s an atmosphere here in the Montreal paddock that’s as sticky as maple syrup and just keeps pulling the F1 circus back for more. It’s very hard to explain exactly what makes up this heady brew unless you’re actually here, and have been coming for years and were once able to discuss this with Jacques Villeneuve himself and then get asked to leave his motorhome, which I am and I have and I was.
We arrive here at the track named after Jacques’s illustrious father sur le rives du la fleuve San Lawrence full of expectation, for this is a track that rarely disappoints when it comes to action. I observed as much to my old mate Jenson Button as he made time to catch up with me in a hotel lift that I had been waiting by for several hours. ‘Yea, whatever mate,’ he said, showing the relaxed intensity for which he is known. ‘Hey, aren’t you that guy who security found in Mika Hakkinen’s shower a few years ago?’ he added, demonstrating the customary good humour for which Jens is rightly famed!
As we reach this, the seventh race, the championship seems as open as a Finnish world champion’s bathroom window and that makes the on-track action as electrifying as a Finnish policeman’s tazer. I had a chance to reflect on the tense battle between the two Mercedes drivers only last night as I dined alone at a charming Italian place in downtown Montreal which I’ve been coming to for years and which discretion prevents me from naming. It’s strictly for Montrealese locals, though they do welcome a select F1 crowd, especially those of us like me who speak a little Quebecian. As I picked one of their customary pubic hairs off of the signature creamy chocolate pizza I happened to spot a certain 1996 world champion passing by and ran from the restaurant to speak with him only for him to say ‘Oh God, not again’ and jump into a taxi. Such a marvellous wit!
As to who will take le flauge chequerede sur le weekend, I think I can say with confidence that it will be a Mercedes, unless there are problems again in which case don’t bet against Ferrari or a resurgent Lotus or Red Bull, not forgetting the Williams. Whatever happens, rest assured I will have un bon seat pour the action.
Because remember, je suis ici et vous aren’t.