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In pictures: Behind the scenes at Formula One

Ever wondered what it's like to see a Grand Prix race from an insider's perspective? Globe Drive columnist Peter Cheney toured pit lane and the exclusive paddock area at the Montreal F1 race to discover a world of elite machinery, movie stars and extreme fashion.

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Pop star Nicole Scherzinger (centre) walks along pit lane. Scherzinger, lead singer for a group called the Pussycat Dolls, dates F1 driver Lewis Hamilton, winner of this year's Montreal GP.

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Team Lotus mechanics and engineers work on Kimi Raikkonen's car before a qualifying session.

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Seven-time F1 champion Michael Schumacher (in white driving suit) walks along pit lane with Ferrari team driver Felipe Massa.

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Team members, reporters and committed fans mingle n the Montreal GP circuit's Paddock area. Fans pay $5,000 to watch the race from VIP suites above pit lane.

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Toro Rosso team engineers prepare front wings before Sunday's race. Nose cones with different wings can be switched in seconds, allowing teams to adjust the car's downforce for different tracks and conditions.

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Red Bull driver Mark Webber walks through pit lane.

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Former F1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve talks to a Sky Sports TV crew about the legacy of his superstar father Gilles, who was killed in a 1982 crash.

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Formula One's billionaire CEO Bernie Ecclestone (standing) in his hospitality suite at the Montreal Grand Prix. On the far right is racing legend Niki Lauda, a three-time F1 world champion who returned to the track just six weeks after a fiery 1976 crash that nearly cost him his life.

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F1 racing legend Niki Lauda wearing a baseball cap that has been his signature since a 1976 crash that left him with permanent scars to his head and face.

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Members of the Montreal F1 medical team prepare for the race. "Ideally, we're not needed,' said one team member.

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Driver Pastor Maldonado of the Williams F1 team walks along pit lane after a qualifying crash into the infamous Wall of Champions. Located close to the edge of the Montreal circuit's final turn, the wall got its name after three former world F1 champions hit it in the same race.

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Formula One pushes the limits of engineering - and fashion, too.

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Toro Rosso F1 pit crew members work on driver Daniel Ricciardo's car. Air-powered jacks plug into the car's nose, allowing mechanics to lift it quickly. Note the drum-shaped carbon shrouds around the front brakes. The shrouds funnel air from external scoops and blows it over the brakes to cool them.

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Sauber F1 driver Sergio Perez consults with a team member before a television interview. Perez typifies F1 racing's new breed of young, ultra-fit drivers (he's 22).

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HRT team driver Pedro de la Rosa heads through pit lane on his way to a qualifying session. Engineers in the trackside booth at right receive real-time data from his car and make strategic recommendations.

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A Pirelli technician measures the temperature of the track before a qualifying session and records it in a database. The temperature of the track and tires on each car is measured before and after session. Tires typically reach 90 degrees Celsius during a race.

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Ontario driver Kyle Marcelli prepares to race his Porsche GT3 Cup car on the Montreal GP circuit as F1 teams get ready for a qualifying session.

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Caterham F1 driver Heikki Kovalainen does an on-the-fly interview in pit lane with BBC reporter Lee McKenzie.

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Toro Rosso F1 crew members and friends watch qualifying in the team's hospitality suite next to pit lane.

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Fans tour pit lane before a qualifying session. The area is opened for an hour each day to spectators who pay for the privilege of an up-close look at F1's inner sanctum.

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Freshly-painted markings outline the starting grid at the Montreal F1 circuit.

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If you've ever wondered how sticky a Formula Tire really is, here's your answer - I pushed a coin onto a tire, and it stuck (and the tire wasn't warm yet, which increases its grip).

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