Taking place at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal, the F1 Canadian Grand Prix covers a distance of 305.270 km (70 laps). Friday and Saturday (7 & 8 June) feature practice and qualifying sessions with the race taking place on Sunday 9 June. The current F1 lap record of 1:13.622 was set by Rubens Barrichello in 2004. For more information visit formula1.com
Date: 9 June 2013
Venue: Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve
The Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada covers a total distance of 305.270 km, made up of 70 laps of 4.361 km. Rubens Barrichello set the lap record of 1:13.622 in 2004. Practice Sessions 1 and 2 will be held on Friday, 8 June. This is followed by Practice Session 3 and Qualifying on Saturday 9 June; with the race taking place on Sunday 10 June.
Dates: 10 June 2012
Venue: Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve
Saturday the 20th of August 2011 was a big day for Marcos Ambrose as he took on the NAPA Auto Parts 200, which forms part of the NASCAR Nationwide Series and was held at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. In Ambrose’s case it is fifth time lucky, as he put the failures of his past tries behind him to race to victory, which did not come easy at all. But it was none-the-less a moment Ambrose will never forget, as seeing the checkered flag was the moment he had been waiting for, for a very long time at this course.
Getting to the race was a rush for Ambrose, as he left Michigan International Speedway, where the NASCAR Sprint Cup was hosted, hopped on a jet, took a helicopter ride to St Hubert, and then jumped into a speedboat to cross the Olympic Basin to make the race on time. Not only was it rush to get to the racecourse, but Ambrose also had to survive a collision with Jacques Villeneuve, before he could focus on his winning performance and secure the victory.
Because Ambrose and drivers Carl Edwards and Trevor Bayne were needed to participate in Cup practice, they had to use reserve drivers to do their qualifiers for them, placing all three drivers at the back of the field. The course was filled with a field of forty-three cars. Twice Ambrose had to fight his way through the field, even though he was able to pass a staggering sixteen cars on the first lap and managed to get into the top twenty before the sixth lap, when he pitted for the first time. It was an accident filled race, with no less than six caution flags (yellow flags) making their appearance. The race had everyone, pit crews and spectators, on the edges of their seats as the action packed race unfolded before them.
But it was Marcos Ambrose who managed to take the victory, followed across the finish line by Alex Tagliani in second place, and Michael McDowell in third place. Ambrose commented after the race that he was never able to close the deal before, but he remained patient and calm throughout the race, which enabled him and his team to convert his efforts into a winning performance and that it felt really good to finally win the race that had eluded him for so long.
The very first Canadian Grand Prix, was held in Canada in the year 1967. The Formula One race took place at the Mosport Park circuit that is located in Bowmanville (Ontario). The Canadian Grand Prix used to be alternated, with Mont Tremblant (Quebec) being the alternative circuit. Unfortunately, due to concerns with regard to safety, the Grand Prix moved to Mosport permanently, in 1971. Currently, the Grand Prix takes place at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit in Ile Notre-Dame (Montreal), which became the home of the Canadian Grand Prix in 1978. This exciting race attracts thousands of spectators, with many more catching the action on their television screens. In 2005, it was reported that Fomula One racing is the third most watched sport in the world. The race is a length of 70 laps, and a total of 305.27 kilometers.
The very first Canadian Grand Prix winner, at the new location in Montreal, was Gilles Villeneuve. He was native to Quebec, but died tragically on a qualifying lap, during the Belgian Grand Prix, in 1982. Villeneuve was honored a few weeks later, with the Montreal race course being named the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. With the start of the 1982 Canadian Grand Prix already clouded by the memory of Gilles Villeneuve, it proved to be the scene of another very tragic event. Didier Pironi, the teammate of Gilles Villeneuve, had stalled his car on the grid. The stationary Pironi, was clipped by Raul Boesel and his car was then hit from behind by Riccardo Paletti. Paletti’s car had briefly caught alight, and Pironi and Sid Watkins, the F1 doctor, frantically struggled to free Paletti from his car. It took a half hour to get Paletti out of the wreck, who was then flown to a hospital. Unfortunately, Paletti did not survive, due to the severity of his injuries.
Another significant accident took place at the Canadian Grand Prix in 1997, stopping the race a few laps in. Olivier Panis broke his legs during this incident that caused him to sit on the sidelines for nine race meetings. Many have said that this was the turning point in Olivier Panis’s career, and a heartbreaking time for the winner of the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix.
The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was once again in the limelight in 1996, when former world champions Michael Schumacher, Jacques Villeneuve and Damon Hill all crashed into a wall that read: ‘Bienvenue au Quebec’ or in English it reads ‘Welcome to Quebec’. The wall was to become known as the ‘Wall of Champions’. Ricardo Zonta, the then reigning champ, also collided with the wall.
The Canadian Grand Prix did not make it onto the F1 schedule for 2004. A maximum of seventeen races was implemented, new venues came to the forefront, and the new tobacco legislation saw the cancellation of sponsors. For a while it appeared that the Formula One would not be returning to Canada in the forseeable future. However, on November 27, 2009 it was announced that a five-year contract had been signed between all the relevant authorities, ensuring that the race would take place in Canada from 2010-2014 – much to the delight of local Formula One racing fans.
When the cars lined up on the starting grid at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal this past weekend, it was clear that the drivers were in for a wet race. Despite almost swimming to the finish line, the majority of drivers seemed to have enjoyed the change in conditions at the first truly wet conditions that NASCAR has ever experienced at a major points race.
With both the drivers and race officials having had little – if any – experience dealing with extremely wet conditions, a lot of accidents were to be expected. But none of them were terribly serious and in all it seems that the drivers had a lot of fun trying gain control of their slipping and sliding vehicles as they attempted to speed around the track. It seems the two biggest problems were the fact that the drivers invariably had low visibility and large puddles of water on the track meant more than one car hydroplaned. At 140 or 150 miles an hour, a hydroplaning car can be a scary and dangerous thing. Still it seems that for the most part, the drivers managed to take it all in their stride. And where the roads were just wet and not covered in water, the grooved Goodyear rain tires that finally got a chance to perform proved their worth by ensuring that the cars stuck to the road under the guidance of their hard-working drivers.
Unfortunately the lack of visibility caused quite a few collisions. Often drivers were unable to see a caution ahead and so they went straight into the back of stationary cars. This was what happened to both Jacques Villeneuve and Joey Logano – though they were only doing about 40 mph so the collisions were not too serious. Most of the teams installed a windshield wiper during one of the extended caution periods but there were a few teams who seemed to think they could manage without them. One example is Carl Edwards, whose rather amusing solution to the problem was to stick his arm out during cautions to squeegee his window clean. In the end the race was reduced from 74 laps to 48 laps. The race was won by Ron Fellows, followed by Patrick Carpentier and Marcos Ambrose respectively.