Canadian Grand Prix’s biggest crowd pleasers are … groundhogs?


Formula 1 is back in Montreal for this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix. And as the grid makes its way to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve there are no shortage of storylines to ponder, from the potential title fights shaping up in both the Constructors’ and the Drivers’ Championships, to the ongoing intrigue regarding the 2025 driver lineup.

But the main stars this weekend?

Groundhogs.

Every season when the sport descends upon Montreal, the lovely critters find a way to make themselves the true stars of the show. This is a tradition that dates back years, and has been honored for the sport throughout the seasons.

Back in 2015 the F1 social media account shared this image of a brave groundhog on the track, staring down three cars heading its way:

During the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix, F1 shared this cutup of various groundhog incidents over the years:

“Gary the Groundhog” made this mad dash during the 2022 season as well:

During last season’s Canadian Grand Prix, FP1 was largely a wash as technical difficulties prevented the closed circuit televisions from operating properly. Given resulting concerns about track safety, last season’s first practice session was stopped after just a few minutes.

Leading to lots of groundhog content:

The groundhogs have also impacted the results at the Canadian Grand Prix. Back in 2007 Anthony Davidson was in position for his first points in F1, but struck a groundhog late in the race, causing damage to his front wing. He would ultimately finish outside the points.

During the 2018 Canadian Grand Prix Romain Grosjean struck a groundhog in FP1, damaging his front wing. However, he salvage the weekend with a tenth place finish and hard-earned point for Haas.

Which made this hug between Grosjean and Vroum – the Canadian Grand Prix’s groundhog mascot — much more pleasant:

Yes that is right, the official mascot of the Canadian Grand Prix is Vroum, a groundhog. Here is Vroum in a safer environment at the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix:

Ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix — which starts in a few hours with the first practice session — Sauber driver Valtteri Bottas had a plea for the creatures:

Please stay in your burrows:

Friday’s first practice session gets underway at 1:30 p.m. local time. That is when the drivers — along with the true stars of the weekend — will begin to shine.