- Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
The Hairpin (L'Epingle) on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
Location Montreal, Quebec, Canada Time zone GMT −5 Capacity 100,000 FIA Grade 1 Owner Ville de Montréal Opened 1978 Former names Île Notre-Dame Circuit (1978–1982) Major events FIA Formula One
Canadian Grand Prix
NASCAR Nationwide Series
NAPA Auto Parts 200
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series
NAPA AUTOPRO 100
Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series
Length 4.361 km (2.71 mi) Turns 13 Lap record 1:13.622 ( Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari, 2004)
The Canadian Grand Prix that took place for 30 years at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was dropped from the 2009 Formula One calendar and replaced with the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. On November 27, 2009, Quebec's officials and Canadian Grand Prix organisers announced a settlement with Formula One Administration and signed a new five-year contract spanning the 2010–2014 seasons. The 2011 edition took place on June 12 at 1:00pm (17:00 GMT) and was the longest Grand Prix ever.
The circuit, at Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Notre-Dame, a man-made island in the St. Lawrence River that is part of the city of Montreal, was originally named the Île Notre-Dame Circuit. It was renamed in honour of Canadian Formula One driver Gilles Villeneuve, father of Jacques Villeneuve, following his death in 1982. The venue hosted the Champ Car World Series Grand Prix of Montreal from 2002 to 2006.
Barriers run close to the circuit and many experienced drivers have been caught out by them. A particularly famous part of the circuit is the wall on the outside of the exit of the final chicane before the start/finish straight. In 1999 the wall, which bears the name Bienvenue au Québec ("Welcome to Quebec") giving it the nickname "Mur du Québec" (Quebec Wall), ended the race of three Formula One World Champions, Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve along with FIA GT champion Ricardo Zonta. Since then the wall has been nicknamed "The Wall of Champions". In recent years 2009 world champion Jenson Button (2005) and 2010 World Champion Sebastian Vettel (2011) have also fallen victim to the wall. Juan Pablo Montoya (2006) and Vitantonio Liuzzi (2007) have also crashed there, while in 2010, Kamui Kobayashi also collided with the wall.
Changes made in 2005 to the curbs on the final chicane were controversial amongst drivers in the run-up to the Grand Prix. The curbs were made higher and more difficult for the drivers to see, making it even more challenging.
On June 23, 2006, Canadian Press reported that the city of Montreal has awarded exclusive rights to stage the two allowed race weekends on the track to Normand Legault, promoter of the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix. The deal is for 2007 to 2011, with an option for 2012 to 2016. Legault decided to replace the Champ Car race with races from the Grand American Road Racing Association's Rolex Series and NASCAR's Nationwide Series, respectively – the latter series' first race north of the Canadian-United States border. On August 4, 2007, Kevin Harvick made history by winning the first NASCAR Busch Series (now Nationwide Series) race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in what was one of the most controversial NASCAR races ever, as Robby Gordon claimed to have won the race.
The NASCAR races have affected the circuit layout. An expansion of the pit lane took place, since a NASCAR pit lane must accommodate a minimum of 43 cars.
As part of Parc Jean-Drapeau, the Circuit is open to visitors, between races, for walking, running, biking, in-line skating, and of course, driving. During the few days of the Grand Prix, Île Notre-Dame is one of the noisiest places in Montreal. At just about any other time of the year, it is one of the quietest, being located in the middle of a river, on an island filled with greenery and animals, joggers and cyclists. However, on June 4, 2009, administration of Île Notre-Dame has forbidden the access of competitive cyclists to the circuit, justifying this as a security measure to avoid the increasing injuries that occurred between year 2008 and 2009. A total of 27 injuries have been reported. The ban on cyclists has since been lifted due to protests.
Comparison of different series at the circuit
As the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve serves as host to different racing series, it is possible to directly compare different race series' lap times.
In 2002, former Champ Car Champion Juan Pablo Montoya set pole position for the Formula One Grand Prix with a lap time of 1:12.836. Several weeks later, during the inaugural Champ Car Grand Prix of Montreal, Cristiano da Matta set pole position with a lap time of 1:18.959.
In 2006, the latest and currently last time Champ Car and F1 ran on the same track, Formula One was 5 to 7 seconds faster than Champ Car. The pole position in Formula One was set by Fernando Alonso in a time of 1:14.942, while Sébastien Bourdais set pole in 1:20.005 in Champ Car. The fastest lap in the Formula One race was 1:15.841 by Kimi Räikkönen, while Sébastien Bourdais' fastest lap was 1:22.325 in the Champ Car race.
2007 NASCAR Busch Series driver Patrick Carpentier racing in the NAPA Auto Parts 200 posted a pole time of 1:42.086. By comparison his 2004 Molson Indy Montreal qualifying time in the Champ Car World Series was 1:20.836.
Qualifying Laps do not count towards official lap records. But if they did, Ralf Schumacher would hold the record with a time of 1:12.275 set in the qualifying session for the 2004 Canadian Grand Prix.
- ^ Canada returns to F1 championship – f1-live.com, 27 November 2009
- ^ Montreal Grand Prix Is Back On for 2010 – The New York Times, 27 November 2009
- ^ F1plus: Gilles Villeneuve Formula 1 Circuit Details
- ^ Automobile Year, 1978/79, Page 235
- ^ Peter Higham, The Guinness Guide to International Motor Racing, 1995, Page 362
- ^ "ESPN – Harvick wins wild Busch race, but disqualified Gordon claims he won – Nascar". http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/news/story?seriesId=3&id=2961526.
- ^ "Circuit Gilles Villeneuve". http://www.parcjeandrapeau.com/11-Circuit_Gilles-Villeneuve-montreal-attraction.html. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
- Official NASCAR NAPA AUTO PARTS 200 English site
- Circuit Gilles Villeneuve History and Statistics
- Statistics from official F1 site
- A lap of Montreal with Honda’s Alex Wurz
- Montreal – the technical requirements
- Trackpedia guide to driving Gilles Villeneuve
- BBC's circuit guide
- Ciro Pabón's Racetracks 3D views and virtual laps of all F1 circuits, including this one, via Google Earth
- Google Maps
- Spectator testimonial of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
- Nascar Busch Series on Play-Montreal
- Parc Jean-Drapeau
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Look at other dictionaries:
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Gilles Villeneuve Circuit — Streckenführung Der Circuit Gilles Villeneuve ist eine temporäre Motorsport Rennstrecke in der kanadischen Stadt Montréal, die nach dem kanadischen Rennfahrer Gilles Villeneuve benannt ist. Auf dem Stadtkurs findet alljährlich der Große Preis von … Deutsch Wikipedia
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