THE CANA­DIAN GP

F1 Racing (UK) - - RACE PREVIEW -

In 1978 Que­bec re­placed On­tario as the Cana­dian GP swapped the swoop­ing to­pog­ra­phy of Mosport for the built en­vi­ron­ment of Mon­tréal. The new venue was orig­i­nally called the Cir­cuit Ile Notre-dame be­fore it was re­named in 1982 af­ter the tragic death of lo­cal hero Gilles Vil­leneuve.

In ef­fect a street cir­cuit with­out the build­ings, the track has been through only the mildest of changes over its F1 his­tory. The long straights and tight chi­canes pro­vide driv­ers with plenty of over­tak­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties

The track is also fa­mous for its fi­nal cor­ner, bor­dered by the ‘Wall of Cham­pi­ons’, where driv­ers of the cal­i­bre of Michael Schu­macher, Da­mon Hill and Jac­ques Vil­leneuve have all shunted ig­no­min­iously in pre­vi­ous years.

This is a for­ward-think­ing event in many ways: fans ar­rive ex­clu­sively by pub­lic trans­port, and de­spite the cir­cuit’s prox­im­ity to the city cen­tre it causes no dis­rup­tion to busi­ness – even though more than 100,000 peo­ple make their way to the is­land over the course of the week­end.

CLAS­SIC RACE: 2008

An emer­gent BMW Sauber team got their first-ever vic­tory – and one-two fin­ish – cour­tesy of Robert Kubica, the first Pol­ish driver to win in For­mula 1.

A year af­ter a ter­ri­fy­ing shunt at this very cir­cuit, Kubica seized his chance af­ter Lewis Hamil­ton drove into the back of Kimi Räikkö­nen at the pit exit. Hamil­ton had been lead­ing from Räikkö­nen as the two pit­ted, but the Fer­rari crew got their man out first. Then Lewis added his own er­ror to the mix, fail­ing to see the red light as Kimi slowed for it.

Kubica lost out to team-mate Nick Hei­d­feld in the pits but then swept by at Turn 1 and left Hei­d­feld in his wake and pushed on to win.

THE MAIN EVENT

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