The Grand Prix circus returns to Canada, a ‘real’ circuit for ‘real’ drivers, and none of the imitation glitz of the Monaco processions.
The circuit is the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit, constructed on a man-made island which had been used originally in the 1967 Expo. Previously called the Ile Notre Dame circuit, it was renamed in Villeneuve’s memory after his death in 1982. The location is one of the loveliest in Formula One since the track threads its way through lakes and parkland. It is a narrow, medium-fast, 4.4 km circuit with 13 corners.
Some corners were eased for 1979, a new corner before the pits was added in 1991 and a chicane was added in 1994. And, it is possible to pass, as opposed to Monaco! With a well placed DRS, it will make passing even more probable. However it does have a couple of corners with some very unforgiving walls at the edge of the bitumen, which a few champions have tried out for size.
It will be interesting to see if McLaren use some brains and put in a banker lap in qualifying, and whether Red Bull can now handle Velcro tyre warmers.
I will be watching in front of the new and even big screen at Jameson’s Irish Pub, Soi AR, next to Nova Park, come what may. Qualifying is at midnight on the Saturday (groan), but why don’t you join me on the Sunday at around 11 p.m. for the midnight start with a couple of drinks first. The real enthusiasts do enjoy this late night race, as we get the pub to ourselves. I promised Landlord Kim Fletcher we would make sure the fridge doors are closed and will turn off the lights and lock the front door on our way out!