Montreal: History & Background

Montreal: History & Background

Fernando Alonso in Canada - 2005Canada first hosted a Formula One Grand Prix back in 1967, initially in Ontario. Since then, the race has alternated between Ontario and Quebec, and in 1978, Montreal became the home of the Canadian Grand Prix. The circuits first winner was Quebec-resident Gilles Villeneuve, whom the circuit is now named after.

The race has taken place in Canada every year since its inception, 2004 being the closest it has come to cancellation. Following a similar fate of Spa Francorchmps in Belgium, the Canadian Grand Prix has strict tobacco advertising regulations, and it was this that contributed to the race initially being taken off the ’04 calendar. However, funds were raised, and the race was re-instated.

Michael Schumacher has enjoyed much success in Canada, winning the event seven times, and hoping for an eighth victory this weekend. Notable drivers to not have won in Montreal include Gilles son, Jacques Villeneuve. Despite attempting since 1996, Jacques has never been able to piece together a victory around the circuit, and has also crashed at the now famous “Wall Of Champions” at the final corner.

The circuit is very tough on brakes, with lots of long runs followed by short and sharp corners. The circuit is reasonably good for over-taking, the most popular point being the tight hairpin just before the final 200mph straight. The final corner can also be advantageous for a pass, but that wall bites even the best of drivers.

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