gootickets-468x60-banner

Race Facts – Canadian Grand Prix

Filed in Canadian F1 Travel Guide by on 0 Comments

History, facts and key information about the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.

Formula 1 has a rich tradition in Canada stretching back to 1967, when the country first hosted a round of the World Championship. For the first ten years, the race was held at Mosport Park in Ontario (8 races) and Circuit Mont-Tremblant (2 races), before safety concerns saw the event move in 1978 to it’s current home on a man-made island in the St Lawrence river in Montreal. Originally called the Île Notre-Dame Circuit after the island on which it is located, the track was renamed in 1982 after the tragic death of home-grown hero Gilles Villenueve, who had won the inaugural 1978 race at the circuit in a Ferrari.

The island on which the circuit is located hosted the World Expo in 1967 – the most distinctive reminder of which is the Biosphere dome, now an environmental museum.  Île Notre-Dame was also the scene for rowing and canoeing events at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Both Île Notre-Dame and neigbouring St Helen’s Island are part of Parc Jean Drapeau, a recreational space which is popular year-round with locals. Since its debut in 1978, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has only been absent twice from the F1 calendar, most recently in 2009 when contractual issues saw it lose it’s place to Abu Dhabi. The race celebrated it’s 35th anniversary in 2014.

Did you know?

  • Michael Schumacher holds the record for the greatest number of wins at Circuit Gilles Villenueve. He won seven times between 1994-2004. Nelson Piquet and Lewis Hamilton have each won three races at the circuit, whilst Alan Jones and Ayrton Senna won twice.
  • Riccardo Paletti, starting only his second F1 race, was killed at the start of the 1982 race when he crashed into the Ferrari of pole-sitter Didier Peroni, who had stalled when the race got underway. Paletti’s death came only five weeks after Gilles Villeneuve had perished during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix and his was the last death in a Formula 1 race until Ayrton Senna died in 1994 at Imola.
  • Jean Alesi scored the only win of his 202 race career at the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix.
  • Jacques Villeneuve, Canada’s only Formula 1 world champion (1997), never won the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix at the circuit named after his father. His best result was 2nd on debut in 1996.
  • The 2000 race was unique in that it was the first time two brothers finished 1st and 2nd in an F1 race. Ralf Schumacher won and Michael followed him home.
  • Robert Kubica took the first ever F1 victory by a Polish driver in the 2008 race, a year after he had survived a horrendous accident at the circuit.
  • Jensen Button won an action-packed race in 2011 after passing Sebastian Vettel on the final lap. The race had five safety car periods and a 2 hour delay due to to heavy rain.

The Wall of Champions

The last corner at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (turn 13) is a tricky chicane which leads on to the start-finish straight. It has become known as the Wall of Champions due to the number of F1 greats it has caught out over the years. The list of drivers to have had accidents at turn 13 includes Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve, Jensen Button and Sebastian Vettel.

Canadian Grand Prix Facts

Circuit Name (type)Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (temporary street circuit)
First race (number of races held) 1978 (35)
Track Length4.361km
Number of Turns13
Race Distance70 laps / 305.27 km
Lap Record1:13.622, Rubens Barichello, Ferrari, 2004
2015 result1st Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:31:53.145
2nd Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) + 2.285
3rd Valtteri Bottas (Williams) + 40.666

A lap of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with Felipe Massa in 2014

April 16, 2017

Off-Track Activities – Mexico Grand Prix

Your guide to the best off-track activities that Mexico City has to offer when you are in town for the Mexican Formula 1 Grand Prix. This year’s race is on October 27-29, 2017.

April 15, 2017

Getting There & Around – Mexico Grand Prix

The best ways to get to the Mexican Grand Prix this year, plus advice on getting to Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and around Mexico City.

April 14, 2017

Trackside – 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Your trackside guide to the Baku City Circuit and the Azerbaijan Formula 1 Grand Prix.

April 8, 2017

Race Facts – Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Learn more about the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, F1’s newest race on the streets of Baku. The race place on June 23-25, 2017.

April 7, 2017

Accommodation – 2017 Mexico Grand Prix

Where to stay in Mexico City for the Mexico Formula 1 Grand Prix. The next race is on October 27-29, 2017.

April 6, 2017

Getting There & Around – Azerbaijan Grand Prix

How to get to Baku for the Azerbaijan Formula 1 Grand Prix, plus advice on getting around in the city. This year’s race takes place on June 23-25, 2017.

April 5, 2017

Trackside – 2017 Russian Grand Prix

Your trackside guide to the Sochi Autodrom and the Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix, including the on-track schedule.

April 2, 2017

Trackside – 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix

The lowdown on the trackside experience at the Sakhir Circuit for the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix, plus full weekend schedule. This year’s race takes place on April 14-16, 2017.

April 1, 2017

Budget Planner – 2017 Mexico Grand Prix

Work out the cost of your trip to the Mexico Grand Prix with our budget planner. This year’s race is on October 27-29, 2017.

March 31, 2017

Budget Planner – 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix

Use our budget planner to work out the cost of your weekend at the 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Tags: , , , , , ,

About the Author ()

Andrew Balfour is the Founder and Editor of F1Destinations.com. He originally hails from Adelaide, where he went to his first F1 race way back in 1987. He's been resident in Europe for almost 15 years and travels regularly to F1 races around the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4fab6c40-ca48-43eb-93b7-648b02c0d8d4