Canadian Grand Prix Preview

Since 1978, the Canadian Grand Prix is one of the most popular venues on the formula one calendar.  [Photo courtesy of]

With the spring races in Europe now completed, the formula one grid now heads to the first of two races in North America, at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the ile de Notre Dame in Montreal, Canada. The Canadian Grand Prix was first introduced in 1961, with the first races being held in the Canadian state of Ontario, at the Mosport circuit and then for two years at the Mont- Tremblent track. In 1978, the formula one event came to Montreal, where it has been held ever since.

This particular circuit happens to be one of the most exciting races on the calendar, both in customer satisfaction and the way the race is run. The 70 lap course is just over three miles per lap, and like the opening race in Melbourne, Australia, it is based on a course that is raced in a park area.

The track itself is named after the great Canadian Racer, Gilles Villeneuve, who managed to win the first race run here in 1979. His son, Jacques, had many opportunities to win the event for his home crowd, but never prevailed. In compared to the other tracks around the world, Montreal is the third quickest track in formula one, only after the great tracks of Spa in Belgium and Monza in Italy. The track begins on a straightaway and is taken by the drivers at 55 percent all out. This is made possible by the back straight, known as Droit du Casino, that is a quarter of the track. The drivers then run into a quick right and left chicane, known as the Wall of Champions, which is known for many cars striking this part of the track, due to taking the corner too late. From there, the start/finish line is only meters away.

Fans who have been here before always criticize that the track is good for individuals who bring large water bottles and good tennis or walking shoes because there are no parking lots close to the circuit because it is situated on an island. Buses can bring fans to the track, which is the best way to go. The south side of the track is the best way as you can park your car in the suburbs and have a tram take you there. Either way, if you are in need of a workout, this is the best place to do it, as many places nearby can help you park your many miles to the south as well as north of the track.

So far in the season, Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and series leader Nico Rosberg have dominated the season. However, in this race, many challengers have upgraded their cars, and it should be even more of a challenge for the silver arrows if their opponents upgrades actually work, making it even more exciting to watch.

It was only a few years ago, when the race itself was off the calendar for one year. But since then, the Canadian Grand Prix still remains as one of the most exciting races for fans, and it should stay on the formula one schedule for many years to follow.

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