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Paddock Postcard from Montreal 09 Jun 2013

Tribute to Gilles Villeneuve (CDN) at the front of the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Preparations, Montreal, Canada, Thursday, 6 June 2013 Red Bull's Mark Webber and Alpine skiing world champion Erik Guay Fans at the autograph session.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Preparations, Montreal, Canada, Thursday, 6 June 2013 Hollywood stars Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult and James McAvoy hang out at the Caterham garage (L to R): Hugh Grant (GBR) and Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 7 June 2013

The Formula One bandwagon may have left glamorous Monaco far behind, but crossing the Atlantic to Canada wasn't a difficult proposition with the city of Montreal a well-loved haunt for most in the paddock.

Red Bull’s Mark Webber started the race weekend on two wheels instead of four, mountain biking with alpine skiing world champion Erik Guay on Mont Rigaud.

“It is a few days before the race but we can’t wrap ourselves in cotton wool,” said Webber. “I have to train anyway, to make sure I’m fit and well. Having a mixture of different activities is good for me. The variety is important and keeps me motivated. And frankly, mountain biking is probably a bit safer than riding on the roads! It’s useful to get that balance of a hard workout, good concentration but having a lot of fun too - especially on those downhills. It’s very technical and you really have to pay attention.”

Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne also had a busy start to the race weekend in the French-speaking city. The Toro Rosso star took a trip to the Montreal Polytechnique where he represented the Formula One drivers at an FIA-backed event in support of its ‘Action for Road Safety’ campaign. Then it was time for a photocall with some engineering students.

As ever the paddock at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve on Montreal’s Ile Notre-Dame attracted famous faces from the sport and entertainment worlds.

World champions included birthday boy Sir Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi and Jacques Villeneuve, joining Niki Lauda and Damon Hill. For the second year running Martin Donnelly was the FIA’s driver steward, and bumped into his old British F3 rival Bertrand Gachot as well as former McLaren/Ferrari and Tyrrell/Williams stars Stefan Johansson and Derek Daly.

Other racers were former Long Beach Grand Prix organiser Chris Pook, New Jersey boss Leo Hindrey, former McLaren cornerstone Tyler Alexander, Tim Mayer, legendary photographer Gary Gold and writer Gordon Kirby, the FIA’s Nick Craw and former team owners Walter Wolf and Paul Stoddart, while at Ferrari stalwart Nigel Wollheim was celebrating his 500th Grand Prix attendance.

From the acting world came Hugh Grant and X Men stars Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult and James McAvoy.

For more pictures, check out our Paddock Postcard gallery.

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