From Montreal to Silverstone – The Quintuple-Header

For all of the concerns about the pressures of the ‘triple-header’ in Formula 1 this year, I ended up putting my own spin on things by going two steps further and turning it into a quintuple-header with five races in five weeks.

Having already managed one triple-header earlier in the year (Azerbaijan GP, Spa WEC, Spanish GP; I'd also do one more across Silverstone WEC, the Belgian GP and Italian GP in the summer), I ventured to Canada thinking ‘hey, this is doable, right?’ It was just about, albeit a little stressful at times, and it was very rewarding.

Montreal was the first step, with Sebastian Vettel taking a convincing victory for Ferrari 40 years on from Gilles Villeneuve’s victory at the circuit which now bears his name. A speedy getaway on Sunday night followed to get back to London on Monday before turning things around to hit the road to Le Mans on Tuesday.

Le Mans is one of those races which, at 5am on Sunday, when you’ve been awake nearly 24 hours, watching timing screens for the past 14 and start going stir-crazy in the somewhat ripe media centre, you hate. But after a bit of sleep, some breakfast, and, finally, the chequered flag, you’re itching to do it all over again. Leg two complete.

Quite why I went back to London instead of just staying in France escapes me, but anyway: next up was Paul Ricard, and the return of the French Grand Prix. It was a disastrous race weekend in terms of organisation, the worst I attended all year, but standing on the grid seeing the French flags fly while La Marseillaise rang out, there was an underlying feeling that F1 belonged back in its spiritual home.

After another dash back to London, then came Austria. The Red Bull Ring has become a favourite circuit of mine given its picturesque setting, and it offered a bonkers race as Max Verstappen sent his travelling band of fans into raptures with a thrilling victory.

And then came the final leg at Silverstone which, again, did not disappoint, with Sebastian Vettel charging to a stunning victory for Ferrari, capped off with one of the overtakes of the season on Valtteri Bottas. Lewis Hamilton managed to fight his way back through the field to take second place after being spun on the opening lap, ensuring Vettel did not stream away in the points standings.

To do five straight races was a bit of a slog at times, but if you’d ask any racing fan if they’d want to do it, the automatic answer would be ‘yes’. By the time I’d done Germany and Hungary, it totalled seven races in eight weeks – but would I do it all again? In a heartbeat.

 

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