Let The F1 Spectator Canada page guide you around Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve as you make your travel plans for the 2017 Canadian Grand Prix.
- Useful information about the circuit and it’s location.
- Directions for getting to the track by car or public transport.
- Intuitive guide to this years ticket prices.
- Insider tips on the best grandstands and general admission areas to view all the weekends F1 action.
Often hosting edge-of-the-seat-exciting races and an ever present potential for the unexpected, the Canadian Grand Prix is many an F1 fans favorite. With characteristics much like Melbourne’s Albert Park, the temporary track is known for producing unlikely results and memorable moments.
The venue itself is striking, unusual and instantly recognizable – an island park in the Saint Lawrence River, minutes away from the heart of throbbing downtown Montreal. It’s a venue with true character and a large fan base – the Grand Prix is attended by some 300,000 F1 fans over the 3 days, flooding into the city from all over North America and the rest of the world.
Compared with some purpose-built race tracks the views are not the venue’s most appealing aspect. For anyone going to the Canadian Grand Prix the best feature of the event is undoubtedly its atmosphere. This doesn’t end when you leave the circuit – vibrant, lively Montreal really embraces F1 and the place comes alive on race weekend; the party atmosphere seeping out of the circuit into the downtown area where revelers overflow Crescent Street’s bars.
Add to that the fact that the circuit is a well organized event and super accessible by the city’s convenient metro and you have yourself a winning F1 venue.
Canadian Grand Prix Spectator Tips
- You’ve come to watch other people drive. Leave the car at the hotel for this one and take the metro instead.
- If you’ve come all this way for a glimpse of a Formula 1 car between heads in the crowd snap up those general admission tickets. Otherwise give them a miss this time.
- Montreal can be a pain in the ass. Bring a cushion for the hard metal bleachers.
- Soak up the festival atmosphere and a few beers with the rest of the F1 fraternity in Crescent Street
As at any Grand Prix, if you can time your commute to and from the circuit in such a way that avoids the peak traffic you can enjoy a more relaxed journey and spend less time waiting in line.
After a long day track side, instead of jostling for space in the metro why not relax in the sophisticated surroundings of the Casino de Montreal.
Try your hand at Grand Prix Poker or just get a bite to eat at one of the venues many restaurants. The casino is open 24 hours though most of the restaurants close earlier. Over 18’s only.
If that doesn’t sound like your thing or you have the kids in tow then just meandering around the park is a pleasant enough way to while away some time.
Things to do for F1 fans in Montreal – Attractions away from the circuit
Even on television Montreal seems to add something to the flavour of the weekend. If you’re coming from far away for the Grand Prix it’s highly advised to stay a while and experience a little of what Montreal has to offer away from the track.
Luckily the circuit is a quick and painless commute from just about anywhere in Montreal, provided there’s a metro station nearby (see Getting There for more info).
Track sessions are held early in the day too so you have a nice chunk of the afternoon/evening for seeing some more of Montreal.
Gilles Villeneuve Museum
For F1 fans at least, Montreal is a place synonymous with one man – Gilles Villeneuve. This museum is a lovingly curated tribute to the local hero who claimed his first win in the inaugural Grand Prix of the circuit which now bears his name.
Along with a number of Gilles’ racing cars from his pre-F1 career, the museum also contains two of son Jacques’ BAR F1 cars from 1999 and 2000. Complimenting the small collection of cars are numerous memorabilia, a racing simulator, and several videos that tell the story of one of F1’s greatest drivers.
The Museum is about an hour from downtown Montreal in the town of Berthierville where Gilles grew up, and was later laid to rest following his tragic accident at Zolder in 1982. While there you can pay your respects to the F1 legend by visiting his headstone at the nearby Cimetiere de Berthierville.
|9AM – 5PM, 7 days a week|
|960 Avenue Gilles Villeneuve, Berthierville, QC J0K 1A0, Canada | GPS: 46.0867273,-73.1934875 | View on map|
Quick Facts and must-have Information
|Currency||Canadian Dollar ($)|
|Language||French (English and Italian are also spoken)|
Though icy cold in winter, Quebecs’ short summers are warm and quite humid, though rarely really hot. The Grand Prix is usually dry and clear with the last wet race held there in 2011.
F1 Track Schedule 2017
|Friday 9th June|
|10:00 - 11:30||FORMULA ONE||PRACTICE ONE|
|14:00 - 15:30||FORMULA ONE||PRACTICE TWO|
|Saturday 10th June|
|10:00 - 11:00||FORMULA ONE||PRACTICE THREE|
|13:00 - 14:00||FORMULA ONE||QUALIFYING|
|Sunday 11th June|
featured image: Fabian Rodriguez