Canadian F1 Grand Prix

Introduction Circuit details  |  Transportation Accommodation  |  Results

Historically, the Canadian Grand Prix (Grand Prix du Canada) was shared between two circuits: Bowmanville in Ontario and Saint-Jovite in Quebec. However, both tracks were outdated and considered not up to standard. The Canadian Grand Prix organisers didn’t have the money to build a brand new F1 track, but F1 was becoming increasingly popular as Canada’s own Gilles Villeneuve was a promising driver back then. The race organisers decided to use existing infrastructure and upgrade it, to create the Ile de Notre Dame circuit. The F1 Canadian Grand Prix has since then been permanently hosted in Montreal.


The Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal at the Ile de Notre Dame, now renamed Gilles Villeneuve racing circuit, has been a permanent feature on the F1 Championship calendar since 1978 (except for 1987 when there was no Canadian Grand Prix). The track is considered to be loveliest in the F1 line up, since the narrow track cuts through lakes, lush parkland and provides beautiful views. The circuit is built on a man-made island in the St Lawrence River, which was used during the 1967 Montreal Expo.

The Montreal circuit was originally named Ile Notre Dame Circuit, but the tragic death of Canadian F1 driver, Gilles Villeneuve, prompted the Montreal Executive Committee to change the name of the track in his honour in 1982, to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Villeneuve was an up and coming F1 driver, who saw his first Grand Prix win in his first season with Ferrari, at his home Grand Prix in Canada, the first one hosted at Ile de Notre Dame. He was killed during a practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix, on the Zolder racing circuit the same year.

In 1996, Canadians became excited when Gilles’ son, Jacques, became a driver for Williams, but he never won in Montreal. Michael Schumacher holds the record, having won seven times in Canada. The Gilles Villeneuve Circuit was also the scene of Jean Alesi’s only Grand Prix victory back in 1995, driving the number 27 Ferrari, the same number as the car driven by Gilles Villeneuve. The track boasts excellent infrastructure and is a favourite among F1 enthusiasts. The 2013 Canadian Grand Prix was won by Sebastian Vettel, driving for Red Bull.

Introduction Circuit details  |  Transportation  |  Accommodation  |  Results