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Canadian Grand Prix | Circuit de Gilles-Villeneuve History, stats and facts

Known for its tricky hairpin corners and long straights, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is also known for its Wall of Champions. Take a look here at the history, stats and facts about the Canadian GP circuit.

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Last updated: 19.06.2022
Circuit de Gilles-Villeneuve History stats and facts

Although the venues are vastly different, there is one significant carryover from the Monaco Grand Prix that is applicable for the Canadian Grand Prix – tires. The same tire lineup from supplier Pirelli that was used in Monaco will be used in Montreal.

Tight corners and unforgiving walls are a hallmark of both tracks, but Montreal is quite a bit quicker than Monaco, making those tight corners even harder to navigate and placing an additional premium on brake performance.

While both tracks have a stop-and-go nature, the speeds achieved on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve stress the brakes on two fronts – harder usage and less time between corners for the brakes to cool.

 

 

And one section of particular renown – the Wall of Champions on the track’s final chicane – has made many a world champion feel like a world chump!

It’s a challenging layout offset by Montreal’s charm, a juxtaposition highlighted by the wheel-to-wheel racing amid the remnants of Expo 67 and the 1976 Summer Olympics.

Where medals were earned by Olympians from around the globe more than 40 years ago, Grosjean and Magnussen will put the pedal to the metal in an effort to further distance themselves from Monaco.

 

 

Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

  • Total number of race laps: 70

  • Complete race distance: 305.270 kilometers (189.686 miles)

  • Pit lane speed limit: 80 kph (50 mph)

  • This 4.361-kilometer (2.710-mile), 14-turn circuit has hosted Formula One since 1978, with last year’s Canadian Grand Prix serving as the venue’s 38th grand prix.

  • Rubens Barrichello holds the race lap record at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (1:13.622), set in 2004 with Scuderia Ferrari.

  • Lewis Hamilton holds the qualifying lap record at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (1:11.459), set last year in Q3 with Mercedes.

Known for its tricky hairpin corners and long straights, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is also known for its “Wall of Champions”.

Located at the end of a very long, high-speed straight, the track’s final chicane (turns 13-14) has ensnared many drivers over the years, most notably in 1999 when three world champions – Michael Schumacher, Jacques Villeneuve and Damon Hill – all crashed in this spot. “Wall of Champions” was born, with its nearly non-existent runoff area consisting of a small curb and a narrow strip of asphalt.

Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is one of four Formula One locations with ties to the Olympics, as its back straight runs adjacent to the Olympic rowing basin used during the 1976 Summer Olympics.

The Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya was the site of the start/finish line for the road team time trial cycling event when Barcelona hosted the 1992 Summer Olympics. Sochi, site of the Russian Grand Prix, hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics. And the Magdalena Mixhuca Sports City, in which the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is located, hosted numerous events during the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

The Circuit is located in Montreal’s Parc Jean-Drapeau, named after the Montreal mayor who twice served the city, from 1954 to 1957 and again from 1960 to 1986. Drapeau organized Expo 67, which was Canada’s main celebration during its centennial year.

The circuit lies on Notre Dame Island, a man-made island in the St. Lawrence River that was built up for Expo 67. The neighbouring Saint Helen’s Island was artificially enlarged to accommodate the fairgrounds and still holds a prominent remnant from Expo 67 – the Biosphere, which can be seen regularly during television coverage of the Canadian Grand Prix.

During the course of the Canadian Grand Prix, lows will range from 12-13 degrees Celsius (54-56 degrees Fahrenheit) to highs of 21-23 degrees Celsius (69-74 degrees Fahrenheit).

Relative humidity ranges from 46 percent (comfortable) to 87 percent (very humid), with a dew point varying from 6 degrees Celsius/43 degrees Fahrenheit (dry) to 17 degrees Celsius/63 degrees Fahrenheit (mildly humid).

The dew point is rarely below 0 degrees Celsius/32 degrees Fahrenheit (dry) or above 20 degrees Celsius/69 degrees Fahrenheit (muggy).

Typical wind speeds vary from 2-11 kph/1-7 mph (light air to light breeze), rarely exceeding 14 kph/9 mph (gentle breeze).

 

 

Canadian Grand Prix

  • Hamilton has won six times in Montreal (in 2007, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017), including the first of his career, and is now chasing his fourth in a row to equal Michael Schumacher’s record of seven Canadian wins.

  • The Briton can also beat the record he currently shares with Schumacher of six poles in Montreal.

  • Fernando Alonso, Ricciardo, Raikkonen and Vettel are also previous winners in Canada. Ricciardo’s first win in F1 was in Montreal in 2014. Raikkonen shares the record for fastest laps in Canada (four) with Schumacher.

  • Ferrari last won in Montreal, a circuit named after their late great Gilles Villeneuve, in 2004 with Schumacher.

  • The rain-hit Canadian Grand Prix of 2011 was Formula One’s longest race, lasting four hours, four minutes and 39.537 seconds. The safety car was deployed six times, another record.

  • The circuit is particularly tough on brakes, with cars slowing from 320kph to 150 in just 1.6 seconds into the ‘Wall of Champions’ chicane.

 

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