Canadian Grand Prix

Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve

First grand prix 1961

Number of laps 70

Race distance 305.270KM

Circuit length 4.361KM

About the Canadian Grand Prix

The Canadian Grand prix is currently hosted at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has been on the Formula 1 calendar since 1967 and also took place at Mosport Park and Mont-Tremblant. Races did not take place in the years 1975, 1987 and 2009.

The circuit is named after Canadian Formula 1 driver Gilles Villeneuve who raced between 1977 and 1982, winning the Canadian Grand prix in 1978. The Montreal street circuit was originally called Circuit Île Notre-Dame before being renamed to honour the death of Gilles Villeneuve in 1982.

In 2018, Sebastian Vettel took his third win of the season at the Canadian Grand Prix, Ferrari’s first win at the track since 2004. Vettel re-took the championship lead from Lewis Hamilton with the win. 

Circuit Gilles Villeneuve Track Guide

The start/finish line of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is halfway up the pit straight, also the first DRS straight of the track before heading to turn 1. Turns 1 and 2, similar to the Brazilian GP are known as the Senna ‘S’ turns as they go from a sharp left to a right hairpin towards turn 3.

Turns 3 and 4 make up a fast right-left chicane before carrying on flat-out through the right of turn five down to turn six. The Canadian GP is known for having its barriers close to the edge of the track leaving little runoff for drivers. Brendon Hartley fell victim to this last year after being pushed wide by Lance Stroll into the barrier at turn 5.

Braking hard into the left of turn 6 before gaining momentum and speed through the right of turn 7 what is essentially the ‘back straight’ of the track and second DRS zone before the sharp right of turn 8, a good opportunity for overtaking if timed well.

Turn 9 is a left-hander that sets up drivers for a quick stretch down to the slowest corner of the race, a sharp right-hand hairpin in turn 10, before going flat-out through 11 and 12, through the third and final DRS zone before the chicane at the end of the track.

The right-left chicane in turns 13 and 14 have become a feature of history over the years, labeling the exit of turn 14 ‘The Wall of Champions’ as many drivers have fallen victim to it.

Race history

MoSport Park and Mont-Tremblant rotated the hosting of the Canadian GP for the first four years it was held before Mosport Park officially held it from 1971-77. During these years we saw winners such as Jack Brabham, Jacky Ickx, Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi and James Hunt in his Championship winning season of 1976.

Canadian Gilles Villeneuve won the first race at the Circuit Île Notre-Dame in 1978 (later named after his death in 1982). The 1982 race started with an incident in which Didier Pironi stalled his car at the front of the grid, was then hit by Raul Boesel and then Riccardo Paletti who was going at 110 mph. Paletti was aided by an F1 doctor and Pironi, later to be flown to hospital.

Ayrton Senna won the first of his two victories in 1988, other coming in 1990, before Michael Schumacher dominated the GP, winning a record eight between 1994-2004. 1999 became the year the exit on the final corner was known as the ‘Wall of Champions’ when Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve all crashed at the same point.

Nico Rosberg, Juan Pablo Montoya, Carlos Sainz Jr, Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel have all fallen victim since.

Lewis Hamilton won his first race as a rookie in F1 for McLaren in 2007, the first of his seven victories at the track, other coming in 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016 & 2017.

Jenson Button recorded a famous win in 2011, a race that is the longest recorded to date. Rainstorms delayed the race for hours and, after a restart on lap 41, Button made his way through the field catching Vettel and forcing him into making a mistake on the last lap, winning the race.

A track marshal was fatally run over by a recovery vehicle in 2013 as it went to collect the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez.

Last year at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

The 2019 Canadian Grand Prix will be remembered for one moment and one moment only; Sebastian Vettel’s five-second penalty.

The German, who had a very frustrating start to the 2019 campaign, had put his Ferrari on pole position at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and started the race brilliantly.

As the race progressed, Lewis Hamilton cranked up the heat and really started putting pressure on Vettel, who eventually got forced into making a mistake. The SF90 went on the grass at the turn 3-4 chicane and rejoined the track right in front of Hamilton, who was forced to slam the brakes to avoid a collision. Controversially, Vettel got dealt a five-second penalty and he was absolutely livid with this. He crossed the line in first place but classified in second because of the penalty. When getting out of the car, Vettel famously swapped the signs to make it look like finished in first.

Vettel almost finished third as well as Charles Leclerc smelled blood as the youngster cheekily tried to sneak within five seconds of his teammate but failed to do so by a small margin. Daniel Ricciardo impressively finished sixth and home driver Lance Stroll had an incredible comeback race to finish ninth.


The Grand Prix of Canada 2020

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is one of the faster circuits on the Formula 1 calendar compiling of three straights with DRS. However, this does not mean that drivers only have to step on the accelerator to complete a lap. Slow corners and technical sections that drivers have to pay close attention to are also to be found on the circuit.

Right at the start it gets exciting with who thinks they can go around the outside in the tight combination in corners 1-2. In the past we've seen a lot of mess in this chicane. If that's not enough, the hairpin will see a lot of action just before the long, straight, of course culminating in an exciting point in turn fourteen: The famous Wall of Champions.

What does the race weekend of the Canadian Grand Prix look like?

On June 11th the first press conferences are scheduled with FP1 one day later at 16:00 GMT, and FP2  four hours later. Qualifying starts on Saturday 13 June at 19:00 and the race on Sunday 14 June at ten past seven in the evening.

What time does the Canadian Grand Prix start at the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit?

As in previous years, the Grand Prix of Canada can be followed live in the live blog of GPblog from half an hour before the start of the race. The start time of the Canadian Grand Prix is 19:10 GMT and the race can also be followed live on Sky Sports F1 as well as all practice sessions and qualifying in the build up to the race.

Session Date Time
Practice 1 12 June 2020 11:00 - 12:30
Practice 2 12 June 2020 15:00 - 16:30
Practice 3 13 June 2020 11:00 - 12:30
Qualifying 13 June 2020 14:00 - 15:00
Race 14 June 2020 14:10 - 16:10
Times are in America/New_York Timezone
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