Tag Archives: Gilles Villeneuve

Formula 1

F1 DRIVERS CANADIAN GRAND PRIX PREVIEW

Jenson Button:“I really enjoy the Canadian Grand Prix – it’s one of those races where everything just feels right. The city is fantastic, the fans are friendly, loyal to the sport and incredibly supportive, the track is intense, and the racing is usually pretty hectic. It’s a place that simply produces great Formula 1.
 
jenson button wins canada 2011“It was a positive for the whole team to put some points back on the board at Monaco after a difficult few races; we’re obviously still far away from where we want to be, but it’s important that we maintain our aim of continuous development throughout the whole season. Although we’re still a long way from the leaders, we’ve matched the general rate of development since the start of the season, which is a positive.

In Canada, the weather can always play a key role – the forecast currently looks good, but you never know when you pull back the curtains in the morning whether you’re going to be faced with blue skies, or grey clouds and pelting rain. We’ll probably get a bit of both next week.”

Kevin Magnussen

The Canadian Grand Prix is one of those races I’m really looking forward to: I’ve always watched it on TV, and it’s always looked like one of the very best, most enjoyable, and most dramatic events of the season.
 
“The track looks like a lot of fun; it’s got a good blend of corners, and it’s the kind of place where you want the car nicely hooked up and beneath you because, apart from the back straight, it’s pretty much always changing direction. So it’s a bit like Monaco in that respect, but a lot faster.
 
“It would be nice to have a straightforward weekend after a couple of disappointing technical problems. Things didn’t quite go my way in Spain or Monaco – through no fault of my own – so I just want to get my head down, work with my engineers and work on delivering a good result, with no mishaps.
 
“I think it’ll actually be interesting to see what we can achieve without encountering a problem that sets us back.

ROMAIN GROSJEAN

Do you have good memories of Montréal?

2013 Canadian Grand Prix - FridayI have very good memories from 2012 when I went from seventh on the grid to my first second place in Formula 1. It was a really great day and it was really a strong team result as we used a one-stop strategy to get on the podium after a disappointing qualifying session the day before. Last year wasn’t so good and we struggled with the wet weather and conditions but the place itself? Montréal is a wonderful city to visit. There are obviously a lot of French speakers so it’s like another home race for me, and the fans are so welcoming and knowledgeable. There are also some very good restaurants in Montréal which is always a bonus.

How much of a challenge is the Gilles Villeneuve circuit? 

Montreal is in-between a normal circuit and a street circuit. The walls are very close in some places, while other parts are similar to a European circuit. It’s definitely unique and we normally bring a different downforce package for that reason, which adds another unknown factor to the weekend. The circuit is not used for the rest of the year so the grip will change a lot – something we’ll have to adapt to – and the weather can also be tricky. Hopefully it’ll be nice and sunny because it’s a race I really like – and it’s my favourite circuit to race on the Xbox. The last chicane is a notable feature and overall it’s a good track.

What is it about street or street-esque circuits that you like? 

I enjoy the sensation of being close to the walls. Montréal is different from Monaco as there are some long straights and some big braking moments. The track surface can also present challenges as we’ve seen in other seasons, so it will be interesting to see what the grip level is like this year and that will certainly be on your mind as you take to the track for the first time over the weekend.

How would you sum up Monaco given that the car wasn’t reacting as you wanted, but you still matched your best result of the year?

The start of the Monaco Grand Prix was a nightmare because I was hit on the first lap and suffered a puncture. Then I was stuck in traffic and couldn’t overtake. Of course when you have a predictable car with plenty of grip it is easy to attack, but we struggled to find a base set-up and it clearly wasn’t good enough in the race. But anything is possible in Monaco, we didn’t give up and managed to recover from 19th to 8th. We scored points and we know where to improve the car, which is not quick enough in low speed corners and certainly we’re trying to get more power for Canada too!

And the high speed corners?

They are not a concern. The aerodynamics are stable and the power unit management is getting better so now we are more focussed on the suspension side. Last year we had a very good car in that aspect, so we’ll compare the E22 with the E21 and possibly revert to some previous settings to make it better at low speed. I believe our downforce is pretty good so it’s mechanical grip we’re after. Even at Monaco we improved the car, even if it didn’t look like it on the timesheets.

In previous seasons the car was good out of the box, while the E22 has required a lot of development. How does that change things in terms of your approach?

It’s always easy to go quick when the car is good. You just have to concentrate on your driving.  When the car is a bit more tricky you have to think about your driving and what the car is doing, because it can react unpredictably. Add to that all the different systems management we now do in the car, it becomes a real mental test! That’s not ideal for Monaco, so it was a very demanding Grand Prix, but at other tracks with more margin for error you can push more. I’m happy we made it to eighth at Monaco and we go to Canada with more confidence.

Kamui Kobayashi

“Race seven is Montreal in Canada, one of the most popular races of the year and one where the weather can play a very big part in the race. At the moment the forecasts look dry For Friday, Saturday and Sunday but if that changes it could definitely be in our favour and we need to make sure we’re ready to take anything that comes our way. I was in the factory last week to start preparations for Canada and even though Monaco didn’t end for me as we’d planned, despite us doing everything we could, everyone is still fighting harder than ever. Crazy races like we had last week don’t come too often, but when they do we need to be ready and after talking to a lot of the team last week I know that they are all focused on making progress, not looking back at what might have been.
 
“On track Canada is a good place to go racing. The local fans are very passionate and knowledgeable – seeing the whole track full on a Thursday with people really excited about F1 being back is great as it shows just what it means to them to have us race in their home town, and that’s good for everyone in the sport. I’ve had a couple of points finishes in Canada in 2011 and 2012 and it would obviously be cool to have the same again this year – as I say, that will probably take a crazy race but if that happens I’ll be prepared ready, as will the whole team.”
 

GP2

Palmer leads the way in free practice
Jolyon Palmer has opened his Barcelona weekend in fine style, leading his rivals for almost the entire forty-five minutes of this morning’s free practice session in Spain to claim the top spot on the timesheets ahead of Felipe Nasr and teammate Stéphane Richelmi.
The Briton stopped the clocks with a time of 1:30.448, with his rivals unable to get within two tenths of his best time, despite the conditions: the session opened under the expected hot and sunny conditions, with temperatures rising throughout.
Palmer was the first driver to set a time, and although Nathanaël Berthon and Simon Trummer briefly moved past him, the Briton improved on their times on his next lap, before setting a laptime just eight minutes into the session which was never bettered.
Nevertheless, his rivals gave it a good go, with improvements up and down the grid as they battled for best of the rest status: Nasr and Richelmi were ultimately split by just one thousandth of a second, finishing ahead of Mitch Evans, Daniiel De Jong, Stoffel Vandoorne, Daniel Abt and Rio Haryanto. With everyone intimately familiar with the circuit, this afternoon’s qualifying session promises to be a cracker.
Barcelona – Free Practice
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Jolyon Palmer
DAMS
1:30.448
19
2.
Felipe Nasr
Carlin
1:30.651
15
3.
Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
1:30.652
17
4.
Mitch Evans
RT RUSSIAN TIME
1:30.892
17
5.
Daniel De Jong
MP Motorsport
1:30.951
15
6.
Stoffel Vandoorne
ART Grand Prix
1:31.460
20
7.
Daniel Abt
Hilmer Motorsport
1:31.508
17
8.
Rio Haryanto
EQ8 Caterham Racing
1:31.510
18
9.
Tom Dillmann
Arden International
1:31.524
15
10.
Sergio Canamasas
Trident
1:31.650
16
11.
Stefano Coletti
Racing Engineering
1:31.657
14
12.
Nathanaël Berthon
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:31.666
16
13.
Johnny Cecotto
Trident
1:31.813
19
14.
Arthur Pic
Campos Racing
1:31.854
16
15.
Conor Daly
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:31.901
7
16.
Tio Ellinas
MP Motorsport
1:31.905
19
17.
Kimiya Sato
Campos Racing
1:31.912
17
18.
Simon Trummer
Rapax
1:32.087
16
19
Julian Leal
Carlin
1:32.128
18
20.
Alexander Rossi
EQ8 Caterham Racing
1:32.159
19
21.
Facu Regalia
Hilmer Motorsport
1:32.398
18
22.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
Rapax
1:32.560
14
23.
Rene Binder
Arden International
1:32.566
17
24.
Raffaele Marciello
Racing Engineering
1:32.640
17
25.
Artem Markelov
RT RUSSIAN TIME
1:32.784
16
26.
Takuya Izawa
ART Grand Prix
1:32.791
18

Formula 1

2012 Canadian Grand Prix - Thursday

LOTUS F1 DRIVERS CANADIAN GRAND PRIX PREVIEW…

Kimi Räikkönen: “Monaco is just a distant memory and I’m all ready for Canada”
After a frustrating Monaco Grand Prix where his gap to the Drivers’ Championship lead increased from four
to twenty-one points, Kimi heads to Montréal focused on getting right back in the fight
What are your feelings after Monaco?

We had a bad result on Sunday in Monaco; that was clear for anyone to see. It could have been even
worse, but it could have been much better as well. We came out with one point so at least we got
something back after losing the solid fifth place, but that’s not much consolation. The car felt good for
qualifying and the race which is a positive as it was another circuit – and a difficult circuit – where we’ve
been able to have the car pretty much as we wanted. We still lack just a little bit of speed in qualifying
sometimes, but our race pace was good again; not that you can show that when you’re stuck behind slower
cars like we saw in Monaco. We don’t know how the car will be in Montréal – we will have the answer to
that question soon – but there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be competitive again.
It was quite some fightback you made at the end of the race…
Well, that was a bit different as I had fresh tyres and we should never have been in that position in the first
place, but it was good to at least get a point at the end. In a way, it almost makes it more frustrating as
when we had the clean air after the pit stop it was probably the first time you saw how quick our car really
was.
You were pretty frustrated after the race?

No-one wants to lose so many points thanks to the actions of another driver, but that race is over; Monaco
is just a distant memory and I’m all ready for Canada.
What’s your opinion of Canada?

I have won there which was pretty good, but I have experienced some setbacks there as well. Many times
the race has been quite a lottery as there seem to be different things which affect it. The weather can
change a lot, sometimes the tyres or the track aren’t working very well, sometimes there are a lot of safety
cars, or sometimes another driver runs into the back of you when you’re waiting at a red light. As for the
place itself, I’ve always liked Montréal. It is one of the nicest cities we visit all year.
What do you need for a good result in Canada?

A good car. Like at every circuit you need to get the set-up exactly right. You need a well-balanced chassis
in the medium downforce configuration and you don’t want to be too hard on brakes as there’s a lot of
aggressive braking there. It’s something I quite enjoy, the stop and go style of the circuit.
Is Montréal another circuit where qualifying is crucial?

Qualifying is important at every circuit, but not as essential as it was in Monaco to get a good result. It’s not
easy to get past, but there are one or two places to overtake.
What are your thoughts on the Championship after losing ground to Sebastian Vettel?
For sure we lost ground on the lead in Monaco, but it’s not over yet. It’s still early in the season and twentyone points behind is not too much to catch up; especially if Sebastian has a bad weekend too at some
point. The most important thing is that we return to our race level before Monaco to get things going our
way as soon as possible.

Romain Grosjean: “We’ll take the challenge and do the very best we can”
After a weekend to forget in Monaco, our Frenchman heads to another French-speaking nation hopeful of
very different fortunes
It was an eventful weekend for you in Monaco… what are your thoughts now you’ve been able to
reflect?
It was certainly a rollercoaster, and one where we could have achieved a lot more with the pace of the car.
No-one wants to make contact with the barriers at Monaco and it’s a fine balance between going fast and
going too fast; there’s such a tiny margin for error as I found out. The positives are that we significantly
improved the car again to make it more predictable over the weekend and that helped me a lot. I think we
had the pace to be in the top three, but unfortunately we didn’t get the qualifying position we wanted and
it’s almost impossible to move up the order in Monaco. I got caught out behind Daniel [Ricciardo] and will
have to suffer quite a harsh penalty of ten places on the Montréal grid, but we’ll be working hard to devise
the best strategy to work back up the order.
You said you’d buy your crew some drinks for all the work they put in over the Monaco weekend;
have you had a chance to do this yet?

Not yet, but I’ll treat them to a special dinner later in the year; hopefully when we’ve got something good to
celebrate.
Last year you went from seventh to second in Montréal; can you repeat that kind of performance in
2013?

Yes, last year we had a fantastic result at this race and we’ll certainly be trying for a fantastic result once
more. For sure it will be a bit more difficult with the penalty, but we’ll take the challenge and do the very
best we can.
2012 was your first time racing in Montréal, but you learnt the track pretty well?

The track is interesting; not an easy one to learn, but as we say most of the time if you have a good result
then you like the track! I’d certainly like to finish this year’s race on the podium again; that would be a good
record to maintain. The city’s great too. People speak French, the place is lively, there are some great
restaurants and everybody is really welcoming.
Have you raced the circuit in any other form?

It’s true that it’s my favourite circuit on the Xbox, though it’s certainly bumpier in real life than sat at home
on your sofa!
You like street circuits and were quick in Monaco; can we expect more of the same pace at the
Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve?

I enjoy the sensation of being close to the walls; although as I learnt this year in Monaco… I don’t enjoy the
sensation of being too close to the walls! Montréal is different from Monaco as there are some long
straights and big braking moments. The track surface can also present challenges as we’ve seen in past
seasons, so it will be interesting to see what the grip level is like this year. Finally, the weather in Montréal
can be quite changeable as we’ve seen many times. I’m sure it’ll be a challenging and exciting Grand Prix.
Does the Canadian event present any particular challenges, being a long haul amidst the European
season?

I arrive a little earlier to help beat the jet lag. Sometimes the challenge of beating the jet lag and getting a
decent sleep can be as hard to solve as finding the right setup for the car! I’ll be getting plenty of exercise
and hopefully getting some good sleep at the right time too!
It’s been a mixed season for you so far; how would you assess it?
On paper it’s not as good as we would have wanted it to be, but I’m happy with all my performances so far
except for Monaco. I have been doing my best every time, the pace is there and every time we manage to
improve the car. I just have to keep doing my best and see where we go from there.

F1Weekly podcast # 581

The FIA Formula One World Championship passes now from the slowest track on the calendar to the circuit with the quickest lap time of the year; the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, host to the Canadian Grand Prix. A lap of the 4.361km track takes just 75 seconds on average, the quickest single lap time of the season.

Renault has a rich heritage at the Canadian Grand Prix, having won the event at Montreal four times. In fact the first-ever Williams-Renault victory was recorded in Montreal in 1989 by Thierry Boutsen and was followed by a further two wins for the partnership in 1993 and 1996 by Alain Prost and Damon Hill respectively. Fernando Alonso then won in 2006 with the Renault F1 Team.

The long straights of the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve require a low downforce package, however the tight hairpin and chicane that bookend the lap demand stability under braking. As such the RS27 must combine good top end power with effective engine braking and pick up on the entry and exits to the corners.

Wind direction can have a strong influence on 7th gear selection. Due to the circuit’s location in the middle of the St Lawrence Seaway, the conditions are notoriously changeable so there is a greater element of risk involved in choosing the right ratios. Get the selection wrong and you will be at a deficit on the straights.

The start/finish straight leads into a smooth left hander that turns into a spoon profiled corner. The engine has to be very smooth through this section without any peaks as engine revs will be at approximately 11,000rpm for five seconds, the longest consistently low setting of the lap.

Sector two is relatively start stop, with the chicane of turns six and seven and the flick of eight and nine. Drivers will try to clip the kerbs in this section to shorten the length so the engine needs to be extremely responsive under braking and on the apexes – this is the longest sector in turns of time.

The hairpin sees cars brake down to a little under 60kph before accelerating onto the long 1,046m straight to turn 13 and the infamous ‘Wall of Champions.’ Drivers will reach speeds of over 320kph with DRS open in qualifying and over 300kph in the race, so engine maps will be calibrated to give the driver good pick up from the exit but reach vMax near the end of the straight.

The heavy braking zones of the hairpin and chicane may require effective engine braking but are also the opportunity to keep the KERS system fully charged. This can then potentially be discharged twice on the straight as the energy counter resets. The high power sensitivity of this track also increases the KERS benefit over the non-KERS equipped cars.

Bruno Senna, Williams F1 Team

It goes without saying that good top end power is important for that long straight, but just as important is the torque response for the short bursts of acceleration, particularly from turn 3 to 9, which is quite stop-start. We need the engine to be extremely responsive – you can win or lose a lot of time if the power delivery is not completely on point. Engine braking is also important going into the chicane and the hairpin, especially as we will be entering the corners from very high speed. Canada is a really enjoyable track to drive but you need to be very precise through every corner as the walls are very close and there is a lot of dirt and rubber off line.

Rémi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations:

Monaco and Canada are vastly different tracks, with Montreal having one of the highest power factors of the season. It’s not as high on the percentage of wide open throttle time as Monza or Spa, but the circuit’s long straights demand good top end power for a large proportion of the lap.

Allied with the heavy braking zones of the hairpin and chicane, the RS27 also needs to deliver effective engine braking: this track is rightly called an ‘engine breaker’ as the engine doesn’t get any respite at all. The challenge is therefore to find the right balance between delivering maximum performance and maintaining 100% reliability, just like at Spa and Monza where the risks have to justify the gains.

Along with Australia, the race starting fuel load will be one of the highest of the season, although this will be governed to a certain extent by race strategy and the weather, which – as we know from last year – can be extremely changeable. Montreal may not be as unique as Monaco in terms of preparation but having the right settings can make the difference between starting towards the front and in the midfield, particularly with the field being so close this season.

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/06-07-12f1weekly581.mp3]

Motorsports Mondial

Photo: forceindiaf1

Force India drivers preparing for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Paul Di Resta on Montreal

Paul, you finished seventh last time out – your first points in Monaco. All in all an excellent weekend…

I think it was another weekend where we maximised things as a team. Considering the issues I had in qualifying, I felt much happier with the balance during the race and we made the strategy work. It was a tough race, managing the tyres and keeping concentration, but as a team performance we can be very happy with what we achieved.

You’ve scored points in four out of six races so far this year – do you feel you can build on this momentum?

I think we’ve demonstrated that we can carry on where we left off last year and fight for points everywhere. The teams around us are all strong, but we’ve shown that we are consistent and can take on teams like Lotus, Williams and Sauber, who are all looking competitive. In terms of points scored we are well ahead of where we were this time last year we take a lot of positives from that. I believe we can keep picking up points and be even stronger in the second half of the year.

You’re preparing for your second Canadian Grand Prix. Tell us about the challenge of the circuit…

It’s quite an unusual track with some long straights and you need good top speed to be competitive. We run a special low-downforce package, similar to the one we use for Monza, so the car feels quite different and a bit loose without all the downforce. It always takes a few laps to get used to things again. 

Nico on Montreal

Nico, you picked up four points in Monaco. Were you happy with your race?

From a team perspective we can be happy to have two cars in the points, but I think my race result could have been even better. I didn´t have any clear track, especially after my stop, which allowed Paul to get past: he had a few clear laps which was just enough to get by me. But apart from that there were no dramas and the car felt strong.

This will be the second time you’ve race in Canada. Is it a track you enjoy?

It’s one of my favourites and I love Montreal as a city. There’s a good atmosphere because the whole place gets behind the race and the city is always full of fans. It’s quite an unusual circuit being a mix between a permanent track and a street circuit, so there are lots of corners where the walls are very close. It’s easy to make a mistake because you have to use the kerbs and get close to the walls to get a good lap. It’s two years since I raced there, but I was able to do Friday practice last year.

We’re a third of the way into the season – has the year lived up to your expectations so far…

There have been a lot of good moments already and there have also been times when I’ve been unlucky, but that’s what you expect in racing. Most of the races have been unpredictable, but I think our pace has been quite consistent so far. We were very close to making Q3 in Spain and Monaco, and we’ve been able to race well – in fact we are probably stronger in the races than qualifying. We’re not too far behind Sauber and Williams after six races and we saw last year how well the team was able to develop so I’m optimistic we can do the same this year.

Motorsports Mondial

History of Canadian Grand Prix


Gilles Villeneuve. “The Rage to Win” saw first F1 triumph on home soil in 1978. The Montreal circuit on man made island is now named after the fondly remembered and much missed Ferrari pilot.

Canada has a very rich motor racing history. The country has produced many talented drivers over the years. The Villeneuve name is known by anyone who has any interest in Formula 1.

Gilles will always be remembered for his ‘never-a-dull-moment’ style of racing and his epic battle with Rene Arnoux in the 1979 French Grand Prix at Dijon-Prenois.

Fils Jacques won the big prize on both sides of the Atlantic.

Apart from F1, Paul Tracy and the late Greg Moore were also super talented drivers from Canada. Another lost talent was Bertrand Fabi who was making a name for himself in Europe when he was killed in a pre-season British F3 testing crash at Goodwood.


Bruce McLaren. Powered by a BRM engine, McLaren charges hard in his own creation but would finish outside the points paying position.

The inaugural Canadian Grand Prix took place in 1967 at Mosport. Jim Clark took pole but it was a Brabham one-two with team owner Jack Brabham over Denny Hulme. Dan Gurney was third in his Eagle Weslake.

David Hobbs was 9th in this race. Tom Jones was an American driver in a Cooper Climax who failed to qualify.

The second Canadian Grand Prix in 1968 took place at Mont Tremblant. Jochen Rindt was on pole but it was a McLaren one-two this time with team owner Bruce McLaren finishing second behind his fellow Kiwi Denny Hulme winning the race. Pedro Rodriguez was third in his BRM.

Lucien Bianchi was also in this race but failed to finish. Grandson of his brother Mauro is now in GP2 and also in the Ferrari young driver programme; Jules Bianchi.

Race went back to Mosport in 1969. For the third year in a row the result was a one two for a team. Winner from pole was Jacky Ickx in his Brabham over teammate and team owner Jack Brabham.

Jochen Rindt was third in a Lotus and Jean-Pierre Beltoise was fourth in his Matra. American racer Pete Lovely, who passed away recently, was seventh in his Lotus.

Mont Tremblant hosted the 1970 event. The one two trend continued, this time it was Ferrari’s turn, Ickx repeating as the winner over teammate Clay Regazzoni. Chris Amon was third in his March. Jackie Stewart started from pole in his Tyrrell but did not finish.

Mosport in 1971 saw the F1 debut of Mark Donohue in a Roger Penske entered McLaren. Mark would go on to finish in third place on his debut. Ronnie Peterson was second in his March and the winner was Jackie Stewart in a Tyrrell.

John Surtees was 11th in his own car and Dr Helmut Marko was 12th in his BRM. Skip Barber of the racing school fame was also in this race but did not finish.

The 1972 Canadian was also held at Mopsort. Man from New York was on pole, Peter Revson, he would go on to finish second in his McLaren. Jackie Stewart was the winner for Tyrrell. Denny Hulme was third man on the podium in his McLaren.

One of the drivers in this race was Englishman Mike Beuttler, he passed away in San Francisco in 1988 from AIDS complications.


Peter Revson. The man from New York won the rain and confusion-filled 1973 Canadian Grand Prix, the second and final win of his F1 career.

The 1973 race at Mosport has gone down in history as one of the most chaotic races in history. In the rain the organizers lost track of who was where and when. When it was all over, Peter Revson was declared the winner; this would be his second and final GP win as he was killed the following year in a testing crash at Kyalami in South Africa.

Emerson Fittipaldi was second and Jackie Oliver was third in his Shadow. He would later walk away from under the shadows of Don Nichols and form his own F1 team, Arrows.

In 1974, winner at Mosport was Emerson Fittipaldi over Clay Regazzoni; both were fighting for the championship, which would be decided in the next race, the final round at Watkins Glen in Fittipaldi’s favor.

A young Austrian driver Helmut Koinigg made his Grand Prix debut in Canada in 1974. In his race second race he was killed at the Glen after crashing hard into the guardrail in his Surtees. He was beheaded in the accident.

There was no F1 race in Canada in 1975

By now Mosport was the only home of Canadian Grand Prix and in 1976 the race was won by James Hunt from pole position in his McLaren. Patrick Depailler was second for Tyrrell and Mario Andretti was third in his Lotus.

In 1977, Formula 1 visited Mosport for the final time. Great home win for Austrian born Canadian team owner Walter Wolf, winning driver was Jody Scheckter. Patrick Depailler was second for the second time in two years and Jochen Mass was third for McLaren.

Fifth was Patrick Tambay in Mo Nunn’s Ensign team. Today Patrick’s son Adrien races in Auto GP.

After bidding adieu to Mosport the Canadian Grand Prix found a new home on man made island, Ille Notre Dame, where the first race in 1978 saw a very popular maiden win for local talent Gilles Villeneuve in his Ferrari. Scheckter was second and Carlos Reutemann was third in the second Ferrari.

Surprise of the race was Jean-Pierre Jarier, the French driver was replacing Ronnie Peterson who was killed at the Italian Grand Prix, and qualified his Lotus on pole, but did not finish the race.

Winner in ‘79 was Alan Jones of Australia over local hero Gilles Villeneuve with the second Williams of Clay Regazzoni third.

Jones and Williams would win again in 1980, his Argentine teammate Carlos Reutemann was second and Didier Pironi was third in his Ligier.

In 1981 Jacques Laffite was the winner for Ligier Matra. John Watson was second in his McLaren and Gilles was on the podium in third in what would turn out to be, unfortunately, his final home grand prix.

In 1982, with Gilles gone only a month earlier, the track was named in his memory. In an ironic twist of fate, his Ferrari teammate Didier Pironi took the pole and dedicated it to Gilles’s memory. Sad but true, this did not go down well with some people following the events of San Marino Grand Prix at Imola.

Tragedy followed tragedy. Pironi stalled at the start and was hit from behind by the Osella of young Italian driver Ricardo Paletti. A huge fire erupted but it was all too late, poor Paletti who was making his only second start in Formula 1. The race was won by Nelson Piquet in a Brabham, giving BMW their first turbo engine victory.

The track has not been kind to French drivers; both Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Olivier Panis suffered serious leg injuries.

On a bright note, in 1995, Jean Alesi scored his one and only win in Montreal on his birthday.

 

— Nasir Hameed

 

Greetings and ‘new motivation’ regards.

 

All images courtesy of Grand Prix Photo/Denmark