Another Canadian Grand Prix is in the books. After a rainy qualification Saturday, where Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton challenged Max Verstappen for pole position, on Sunday the transcendently talented Dutch driver was able to hold on for victory, his sixth of the 2023 championship and fourth in a row. While the world was focused on the excitement taking place at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, in-the-know visitors and Montrealers alike were able to experience race weekend a bit more luxuriously with the Ritz-Carlton, partner of Hamilton’s Mercedes-AMG Petronas team.
Festivities began Friday, when Canada’s most stylish Formula 1 fans descended on the Ritz-Carlton Montreal (the oldest Ritz-Carlton in the world) for an evening of Havana-themed fun undampened by the rainy weather. Some of the city’s most notable were among the partygoers, with Montreal Canadiens Carey Price and Cole Caufield, former UFC champion Georges St-Pierre, and singer-songwriter Rêve mixing with those enjoying drinks at the Laurent Perrier Champagne Bar, beats spun by Cuban singer, bandleader, and composer Issac Delgado y Orquesta, and quiet moments at the Louis XIII bar and cigar lounge.
The fun continued throughout the weekend, as select guests were able to watch the race in luxury at the Ritz-Carlton Silver Arrows Lounge. While partner Mercedes, and its Mercedes-AMG Petronas team drivers, Hamilton and George Russell, were unable to come away with the win on Sunday, and Montreal-born Lance Stroll could only battle to a hard-fought ninth-place finish after recovering from a shaky start that saw him near the rear of the field, spirits remained high in the Paddock Club’s most glamorous lounge throughout the weekend.
Through the Marriot Bonvoy Moments platform, the points program for the Ritz-Carlton’s parent company, Marriot Bonvoy, members can bid for Ultimate Weekend Packages that provide behind-the-scenes access to the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team, as well as accommodations at Ritz-Carlton or Marriot International luxury brand hotels, at F1 races around the world. Access to the Ritz-Carlton Silver Arrows lounge comes standard as a part of Ultimate Weekend Packages and additional VIP experiences may include unprecedented access to the team’s paddock, where cars are tuned before taking to the track, a chauffeur ride to the track with Hamilton or Russell, or a hot lap in a custom Ritz-Carlton branded Mercedes-AMG GT R.
On Sunday morning, Hamilton, a seven-time Canadian Grand Prix champion, made a brief prerace pit stop at the Ritz-Carlton Silver Arrows lounge to speak to Mercedes-AMG Petronas team members and partner guests about his mentality going into the race. With Hamilton entering race day having qualified in fourth position, one spot ahead of his teammate, Russell, spirits were high in the lounge. The typically humble Hamilton, instead of outlining his plans for the race, spent his time thanking his team members and sponsors. “All of our partners are members of our team,” he said.
Beyond offering a luxuriously comfy place for Mercedes-AMG Petronas drivers, team members, and guests to lay their heads, Ritz-Carlton also brings its brand of stupendous hospitality to Silver Arrows lounges at races throughout the F1 season. In Montreal—where the partnership began in 2019—dishes laden with lobster, truffle, and steak were whisked to tables alongside sparkling wine as spectators watched the race on a wall-spanning screen inside or took in the race live from the stands outdoors. At the bar, a representative from the Ritz-Carlton Montreal mixed palo santo–infused sparkling wine cocktails, the recipe for which was created in honour of the hotel’s 110th anniversary last year.
While Formula 1 has become among the most popular sports over the past few years, and fandom has reached a fever pitch with the release of Netflix’s much-acclaimed series Formula 1: Drive to Survive, nothing compares to the excitement of a magnificent weekend away. With its grand history of luxury hospitality, Ritz-Carlton has held pole position for over a century, but thanks to its Ultimate Weekend packages, the brand has now taken the win.