- Circuit type Street
- Circuit Length 4.361kms
- Circuit Turns 13
- Circuit Direction Clockwise
- Capacity 100,000
- Established 1978
|First race||Canadian Grand Prix||October 8, 1978||Gilles Villeneuve (CAN)||full results|
|Last race||Canadian Grand Prix||June 7, 2015||Lewis Hamilton (GBR)||full results|
Formerly called the Ile Notre-Dame Circuit and built on a partly man-made island in the Saint-Lawrence River, the circuit held its first race in 1978 after too many complaints over the safety levels at Mosport. It was renamed in 1982 to honour the late French-Canadian driver Gilles Villeneuve who claimed his maiden Formula One victory at the venue's inaugural F1 race in 1978.
Known for its tricky hairpin bends and the kilometre-long straight, the circuit is also famous for its "Wall of Champions". Situated at the end of the very long high-speed straight, the chicane has caught out many drivers over the years, notably in 1999 when three world champions - Michael Schumacher, Jacques Villeneuve and Damon Hill - all fell foul of the tricky chicane.
The first lap is notorious for accidents, the cars are funnelled from the grid into the tight Senna curves, and so frequent is the safety car deployed that teams actually prepare strategies with one or two safety-car periods in mind.
The 2009 Canadian Grand Prix was dropped from the calendar following the failure to reach a deal with F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone. The government refused to pay the increased fee that they were faced with on renewal of the contract. However, after further discussions a deal was brokered that saw the popular event making a return in 2010.
Notable fatalities: Riccardo Paletti, 1982. Starting from the back of the grid, crashed heavily into polesitter Didier Pironi's stalled car.