Sergio Pérez races zamboni in downtown Montreal.
© Bruno Destombes
F1

Pérez and Tsunoda race zambonis at the Canadian Grand Prix

Watch the world’s fastest Formula One drivers race Canada's slowest vehicle ahead of the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.
By Alastair Spriggs
3 min readPublished on
Twenty of the world’s fastest drivers have landed in Québec and eagerly await the start of the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix.
While most racers discuss strategy, attend press conferences, and sign autographs, Formula One drivers Sergio Pérez and Yuki Tsunoda opted to meet with French Canadian snowboard icon Sébastien Toutant and NHL legend PK Subban for a symbolic racing showdown in preparation for the long weekend ahead.
Check out the player below to watch the full race day recap, and continue scrolling to read all about one of the slowest races of all time.
Arriving at the circuit less than 24-hours before the Canadian GP practice session, the drivers were introduced to their unexpected racing machines: the zamboni. These three tonne ice resurfacers are capable of hitting speeds up to 15km/h and are featured at every hockey game held across the country and beyond—proudly fuelling Canadian culture and identity.
Pk Subban explain race format in Montreal, Quebec.c
Host PK Subban explains the race format
Zambonis afront Montreal's Olympic Stadium.
The mighty machines
A few facts about the zamboni that you need to know:
  • In 2001, a zamboni was driven over 7,000 kilometres from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia. The journey took approximately four months.
  • Before the invention of the zamboni, ice resurfacing took three to four workers over an hour to complete.
  • The average zamboni travels roughly 3,200 kilometre a year.
Once familiarized with the vehicles, Subban walked each racer through the dynamic racetrack, which featured an array of hairpins turns, straightaways, as well as a slalom section. Each driver would be given one opportunity to navigate the course and the racer with the fastest lap would be crowned champion. With introductions and admin complete, the racers went to battle.
First off the line, Tsunoda handled the over-sized workhorse with ease as he optimized speed through the tight corners. Taking a different approach to the circuit, Pérez focused on carrying maximum speed through the straightaway while arguably pushing the vehicle to it’s brink. Finally, Toutant approached the course the same way he would on a snowboard—with full force and natural creative flair.
Sergio Pérez races zamboni in downtown Montreal.
Sergio Pérez handling his zamboni with ease
Yuki Tsunoda performs at F1 Zamboni Race in Montreal, Canada, on June 16, 2022
Yuki Tsunoda powering through the hairpin
“It was different from a F1 car,” explained Pérez with zero hesitancy. “They are quite fast if you turn the wheel and apply full throttle — you can even lift the wheels — but they are really high so you don’t really know where you are on the track.”
“Overall it was enjoyable and good that it was a time trial race,” he added, citing the high potential for collisions.
Sébastien Toutant performs at F1 Zamboni Race in Montreal, Canada, on June 16, 2022
Seb Toots crossing the finish line
Though he claimed the two vehicles were nothing alike, Pérez had no trouble bringing his F1 dominance to the world of zamboni driving as he sped through the finish line in record time and hoisted the trophy of ice. Sébastien Toutant would finish in a close second place, and Yuki Tsunoda in third.
Winners celebrate at F1 Zamboni Race in Montreal, Canada, on June 16, 2022
Sergio Pérez takes the win
With Pérez and Tsunoda's Canadian Grand Prix warm up complete, the crew celebrated over poutine and smoked meat while putting their friendly competition to rest. That is, until the lights turn green on Sunday, June 19th.
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