'It's good': Formula E fans enjoy a day at the races

Fans for the Formula E electric racing series enjoyed sunny skies and a warm day to watch all the action in downtown Montreal. The first day of races saw several crashes on the course that threads its way around the city streets.

Auto racing fans enjoyed the hot, sunny weather on Saturday

Boys waited their turn to drive a remote-controlled car around a miniature race course at the Allianz eVillage at the Montreal ePrix electric car race on Saturday. (Andrea Bellemare/CBC)

Racing fans and curious onlookers gathered to watch Hydro-Québec Montreal ePrix electric car race on Saturday.

While Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre faces heavy criticism over the disruption the event has caused in the city's downtown, as well as the public money spent to host it, racing fans were out enjoying the sunny weather and activities next to the race track. 

Robert, left, and his father, Peter Anger, came from Toronto for the Formula E races. (Andrea Bellemare/CBC)

Robert and Peter Anger came from Toronto for the races on Saturday and Sunday.

"We're racing fans, so it's our first kick at this can," said Peter Anger. He said that Formula E was quieter than Formula One, and the cars race closer together, but it was just as exciting as F1. 

The father and son saw Formula E leader Sébastien Buemi crash his vehicle during practice Saturday morning, but they said the crash wasn't scary to see.

Buemi walked away from the crash, but his car's front end was badly damaged.

As for Anger's goals for the rest of the weekend, he said he wanted to "see some good racing and have some good food and see some good entertainment."

Dehena Clodiele and her father Maxwell Clodiele were waiting to sit in one of vehicles on display at Allianz eVillage. (Andrea Bellemare/CBC)

Maxwell Clodiele brought his daughter Dehena Clodiele to Formula E on Saturday.

"My friend gave me the ticket, because me, I'm a mechanic," he said. "So that's why I'm interested to see what's going on about electric [vehicles]." 

Dehena said she was having a fun time, and that the electric cars were good.

Max and Janot Bérubé are auto racing fans, though they weren't cheering for any particular driver on Saturday. (Andrea Bellemare/CBC)

Max and Janot Bérubé arrived around noon and spent the afternoon exploring.

"We went a bit all over the place, we were at the kiosks," said Max.

"We ate," said Janot, who is a mechanic. "We're enjoying the sun."

The pair weren't cheering for anyone in particular, but were also Formula One fans. 

"For the first time, I think it's good," said Janot of the event.

Lucie Talbot and Guy Bourgery came from Terrebonne, north of Montreal, to watch the Formula E races. (Andrea Bellemare/CBC)

Lucie Talbot and Guy Bourgery came from Terrebonne, north of Montreal, to see the races.

They said they came to see the electric cars, and to enjoy the nice weather. 

Bourgery said he watched the Formula E races that took place in Paris on television, because he is from France.

The pair said they might return Sunday if they enjoyed themselves.

Marguerite Gulyas and Daniel Desruisseaux came because Gulyas won free tickets from a radio station. (Andrea Bellemare/CBC)

Marguerite Gulyas and Daniel Desruisseaux came because Gulyas won tickets.

'So far, I know I'm hot," she said, when asked how she was finding the afternoon.

Gulyas said she hadn't seen any of the earlier practice circuits, but was looking forward to the race at 4 p.m.

"It seems great," she said. 

A little girl gets a hug from a Formula E driver mascot in the Allianz eVillage on Saturday. (Andrea Bellemare/CBC)
BMX riders put on a show in the Allianz eVillage on Saturday. (Andrea Bellemare/CBC)

About the Author

Andrea Bellemare


Andrea Bellemare is a producer and reporter working at CBC Montreal. She has worked in many departments at CBC, from radio to TV to online, and she has also reported for the wire service Agence France-Presse.