The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a street circuit near Montreal in Canada.
The 4.5 km long circuit Ile de Notre Dame (later renamed Circuit Gilles Villeneuve) was built on an artificial island in the Saint Lawrence. It was designed by Roger Peart amid lakes and the Expo 67 pavilion parks. It runs along the rowing course used for the 1976 Olympics. One of the most characteristic statues is the pavilion that looks like a huge golf ball as a background to the cars in the hairpin bend.
The first race couldn’t have gone better: Gilles Villeneuve won his first victory in front of his own audience and the audience was in ecstasy.
The Grand Prix used to be scheduled at the end of the season, but the race was mostly marred by the inclement weather during that period, which has moved the race from 1982 to the month of June.
In 1987 there was no Grand Prix due to a sponsorship dispute between the Labatt’s and Molson breweries. Due to a business dispute between Bernie Ecclestone and the promoter of the Canadian Grand Prix, there was no Formula 1 race in 2009.
Noteworthy was the first and only victory of Jean Alesi, in the Ferrari with the number 27, partly made famous by local legend Gilles Villeneuve.
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