Montreal is getting ready to host the Canadian Grand Prix, one of the most famous and historic tracks in Formula 1. In 1977, Giles Villeneuve inspired the French Canadians and they decided to design and construct an F1 circuit.
In their mind was the famous quote “simplicity is the best”, so their idea was to take the lle Notre-Dame, and connect all the roads around the island. It took them less than a year and about $2m to build and upgrade the track to meet Formula One’s standards, the first race was held in 1978.
No one could imagine a better debut for the track, Gilles Villeneuve on his debut season with Ferrari won the first Canadian Grand Prix, but the track was marked by Villeneuve’s death in 1982 and renamed in his honor.
Michael Schumacher holds the record of seven victories in Canada, whilst McLaren have won the race for thirteen times.
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
Circuit Length: 4.361 km
Race Distance: 305.27 km
Lap Record: 1:13.622 (Rubens Barrichello – 2004)
Tyre Allocations: Ultrasoft (Purple), Supersoft (Red), Soft (Yellow)
The drivers will aim to warm up their front tyres properly, because that is the key to a quick lap in Montreal, especially during the qualifying session. The circuit’s format affects the brakes and the tyres, and that is because the track applies longitudinal forces rather than lateral forces. Finally, this year’s cars are much faster than last year’s, which means that the lap record is in danger and it might be broken this weekend.
Last season Lewis Hamilton lead the race from the start to the end as the Brit took the pole position and remained first till the chequered flag followed by Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas. Nico Rosberg, qualified second but finished fifth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and behind Max Verstappen.
This year Ferrari will try to build their own wall of champions, a wall which will allow them to remain first in the constructors’ championship and give the advantage to Vettel to increase his lead from its competitors.
The question is if Scuderia will manage to finish once again in the front row and secure the second 1-2 of the season.
Victor Archakis F1 Editor – @FP_Passion