Oracle Red Bull Racing driver Sergio Pérez and Scuderia AlphaTauri‘s Yuki Tsunoda were joined by Olympic gold medallist Sébastien Toutant and NHL legend P. K. Subban for the ultimate Canadian obstacle course driving state-of-the-art Zambonis.
Ahead of the first FIA Formula One World Championship race in Montreal since 2019, Mexican Pérez and Japan’s Tsunoda were unaware of what vehicle awaited them for their Canadian Grand Prix Challenge. Built to resurface ice, the Zamboni is capable of a sedate 15 km/h compared to an F1 car which hits speeds of around 360km/h and is proudly featured at every hockey game held across Canada and beyond.
Tsunoda, who has three points finishes so far in 2022, was first up and he was careful to stay in the tracks and optimize speed around each corner with Pérez next up as he came roaring through, looking solid through the straightaway and navigating the slalom course with ease. Snowboarder Toutant, who also has two Winter X Games gold medals and a 2021 World Championship slopestyle silver to his name, was the last to take on the tricky course, approaching the challenge the same way he would on a snowboard – full force with some added creative flair.
In the end, Pérez – second in the 2022 F1 drivers’ standings – triumphed, claiming the ice trophy and celebrating at the top of the podium with his main advantage being the activation of the Zamboni‘s “rabbit mode.” Toutant finished second and Tsunoda third with ice hockey defenceman Subban helping to crown the winner.
The 32-year-old Mexican driver revealed: “It was all about the rabbit mode today. You have a switch that you have to press to go fast… you have a rabbit, and you have a turtle on the switch. The Zamboni is quite fast if you turn with a lot of wheel and a lot of throttle you can lift the wheels a bit.”