Time zone: BST -5
Montreal is 3,248 miles (5,227km) from the McLaren Technology Centre.
There are numerous direct flights to Montreal, making the logistics easier than most other fly-away events. The ‘pre set-up’ crew arrives 10 days before the race to unload the sea freight and set-up the pit garage, with the mechanics joining them the following Monday. The engineers and management arrive on Wednesday, and the last person arrives on Friday with any hand baggage.
Biggest travel headache?
Each person needs a visa, which can be filled out on-line. Otherwise there are no serious travel headaches, helped by the fact that the team has been going to Montreal for so long and knows it well.
Montreal is the second-largest French-speaking city in the world, after Paris.
Maple syrup. More than 85 per cent of the world’s maple syrup comes from Quebec, where it can be used in almost everything. A local favourite is maple butter on toast.
When in Rome…
Why not do a bit of underground shopping? To counter the city’s extreme winter weather, Montreal has developed a climate-controlled labyrinth of underground shops. In total there are more than 18 miles (29km) of shopping to be explored.
Montreal experiences weather extremes. In winter the temperature regularly drops to -30 degrees, while in the summer it can peak at +30 degrees. The build-up to this weekend’s race is dry, with expected temperatures of 21 degrees.
Top tips from our local Hilton Concierge
Your inside information on Montreal, brought to you by our partner, Hilton.
If you were to visit only one attraction in the city where would it be?
Crescent Street: this is where it all happens! The street is famous for hosting festivals that showcase local bands and artists. During the race weekend the street hosts the annual Fesitval Du Grand Prix Sur Crescent, where fans can take part in pit stop practices and other fun activities. In addition to the outdoor events, the street boasts a wide variety of bars and restaurants that cater for all tastes.
Where would you see the best view of Montreal?
At the observatory of the Chalet Mont-Royal. It offers a spectacular view of the downtown area of the city and the St. Lawrence River. Inside the Mount Royal Chalet, which opened in 1932, there are displays and pictures tracing the history of Montréal, including many painted by famous artists.
What is your ‘hidden gem’ place not many people would know about?
I would recommend a bike ride along the scenic Canal Lachine which passes through the South-western part of Montreal. The canal was the industrial lifeline of Montreal where hundreds of cargo ships travelled back and forth. Another hidden gem located near the canal is the Atwater Market. The market is the perfect place to purchase fresh local produce at great prices.
Which location sums up the À la Montréal lifestyle best?
Sainte-Catherine best represents Montreal as a whole, with restaurants, shopping, festivals and beautiful people.
Describe Montreal in 3 words.
Multicultural, Nightlife, Evocative.