Canadian Grand Prix

When you think of Formula 1 racing in North America, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada, often springs to mind. This track, which is named in honor of the legendary Canadian driver Gilles Villeneuve, has been hosting the Canadian Grand Prix F1 since 1978. Here’s an exciting lap-by-lap guide on how an F1 driver navigates this renowned circuit.

Characteristics of the Canadian Grand Prix F1 Track

Nestled on Notre Dame Island in the heart of Montreal, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is characterized by its fast straights punctuated by sharp chicanes and slow corners. The track is semi-permanent, with parts used as public roads throughout the year. This often means the surface can be slippery at the start of the race weekend, gradually rubbering in as sessions progress.

The track is well-known for its Wall of Champions – a barrier situated at the final chicane, which has claimed many a racing great over the years. Tire degradation is typically moderate here, but it’s the brakes that truly suffer due to the heavy braking zones. Recommends

Canadian Grand Prix Track – Speeds and G-forces

Canadian Grand Prix F1 Track

F1 cars can reach staggering speeds of up to 330 km/h (205 mph) on the long back straight before the final chicane. Such high speeds combined with abrupt braking zones subject drivers to extreme G-forces. For instance, during heavy braking, drivers can experience longitudinal G-forces up to 5G!

Canadian Grand Prix F1 Track – Turn 1 and 2

A quick chicane, where drivers brake from around 290 km/h (180 mph) to 120 km/h (75 mph) for Turn 1. The ideal line involves clipping the apex of Turn 1 and quickly transitioning for Turn 2, ensuring a smooth exit for the Senna Curve. G-force here is approximately 3G.

Canadian Grand Prix F1 Track – Turn 3 and 4

A long right-left complex, which requires delicate throttle application for a quick exit onto the straight. Entry speeds are around 90 km/h (56 mph), gradually accelerating upon exit.

Canadian Grand Prix Track – Turn 5 and 6

A swift chicane where precision is key. Entry speed: 280 km/h (174 mph) before braking hard to around 110 km/h (68 mph). Best line? Close to the curbs without unsettling the car.

Canadian Grand Prix F1 Track – Turn 7

A brief squirt of power leads to a fast right-hander. Entry at 220 km/h (137 mph), maintain throttle and steer smoothly for optimal exit.

Canadian Grand Prix F1 Track – Turn 8 and 9

Another chicane where drivers brake from 320 km/h (199 mph) to 140 km/h (87 mph). Using curbs is essential for a good exit but overdoing it can prove costly.

Canadian Grand Prix F1 Track – Turn 10

Canadian Grand Prix F1

Hairpin time! Braking is paramount as speeds drop from 300 km/h (186 mph) to just 60 km/h (37 mph). This slow corner provides overtaking opportunities.

Canadian Grand Prix F1 Track – Turn 11, 12, and 13

The final chicane before the famed Wall of Champions. Braking from a mind-blowing 330 km/h (205 mph) down to 140 km/h (87 mph), clipping the curbs and avoiding that notorious wall is crucial.


The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve offers an exhilarating blend of high-speed straights and challenging corners. Precision, bravery, and immense skill are essential for conquering this iconic track. Every year, the Canadian Grand Prix serves as a testament to the prowess of F1 drivers as they masterfully tackle the circuit, providing an unforgettable spectacle for fans worldwide.


By Jonny Noble

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Jonny Noble I’m a dedicated F1 Writer – and I’ve Been One for Over Four Decades, I’ve been intimately immersed in the world of Formula One for more than 44 years. That’s longer than most professional commentators can boast! As an independent writer, I offer a unique perspective on the entire F1 landscape, free from biases that might cloud the discussion. We dive deep into the exhilarating, frustrating, and captivating facets of the F1 universe. So, regardless of my amateur status, one thing is undeniable: four decades of dedicated F1 fandom have forged strong opinions worth exploring!