We are super excited to see the Formula One drivers race round the iconic Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. Hosted on the manmade island of Notre-Dame just outside of Montreal, Canada during the start of the summer season, the race is set to be a spectacular one.
Created for the 1967 Expo 67 World’s Fair, the man-made island was repurposed using the pre existing roads to create a multi-sport track. The circuit retains most of the original structures created for the expo event. Such as the biosphere dome now an environmental museum. Similarly to the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve takes place within a public park; parc Jean-Drapeau.
You can read more about the Albert Park Circuit here.
The circuit is named after Canadian Formula One driver Gilles Villeneuve who claimed his first at the circuit in 1978. However, sadly passed during the final qualifying lap at the Belgian Grand Prix in 1982. At the start line, ‘Salut Gilles’ is written on the track in his honour. Gilles Villeneuve is also one of the first drivers to be inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame.
The Gilles-Villeneuve Circuit has been a part of Formula 1 since 1967 and as a result, the circuit has hosted over 40 F1 races. With 4.361 km/2.7 miles of track and 14 demanding turns, the race will be one full of energy and excitement. One of the most iconic parts of the circuit is the ‘Wall of Champions’. Two fast straights connected by a tight chicane, make for some fast paced overtaking opportunities. However, due to the high speeds gained by the long straight beforehand, it takes an immense amount of control to weave through the chicane and onto the following straight. The reason behind the name of the ‘Wall of Champions’ is the 3 collisions during the 1999 race. As a result of Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve and Michael Schumacher colliding with the wall during the race, Turn 14 was dubbed the ‘Wall of Champions’.
In addition to the ‘Wall of Champions’ the notable 180° hairpin turn overlooking the St Lawrence River is one of the best places to be as an audience member. Front row seats to some of the most daring duels and overtaking of the race is truly exhilarating! This overtaking hotspot is entirely based on the driver’s skills, experience and engine differences. Turn 10 could be a real game changer this weekend. Lewis Hamilton currently holds the title of most successful driver at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve (tied with the retired Michael Schumacher), Turn 10 could offer a crucial chance to take the lead.
The Circuit Gilles-Velleneuve offers no chance for mistakes. Amongst the other difficult turns and heavy breaking chicanes is Turn 1 and 2 dubbed the Senna ‘S’. Located at the end of the uphill straight following the ‘Wall of Champions’ the Senna ‘S’. The Senna 'S' is a serious driving challenge, but it is a crucial one to master in order to get a quick entry onto the following straight. Similarly to the Interlagos circuit in Brazil, the Senna ‘S’ requires extreme precision and car control. While maintaining as much speed as possible from the previous straight the drivers must tackle the downhill left-hand turn and left-right combination.
The Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve has seen F1 drivers speed round a lap in under 1 minute and 15 seconds. This weekend is sure to be a spectacular one. We are sure those of you attending the Canadian Grand Prix will be in amazed at the driver's skills.