Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve


Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve


  • 70 Laps
  • 1978 First Grand Prix
  • Canadian Grand Prix Grand Prix
  • 4.361km Circuit Length
  • 305.27 km Race Distance
  • 1:13.078 Valtteri Bottas (2019) Lap Record

Located on Notre Dame Island in Montreal, Canada, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a historic 4.361 km (2.710 mi) track that has featured on the F1 calendar since 1978.

Since then, the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve has proudly served as the host venue for the FIA Formula One Canadian Grand Prix.

Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve

First Grand Prix1978 Canadian Grand Prix
Number of Laps70
Circuit Length4.361km
Race Distance305.27 km
Lap Record1:13.078 Valtteri Bottas (2019)


When was the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve built?

The man-made Notre Dame Island, situated in the St. Lawrence River, has a fascinating history linked to significant global events and motorsport. Originally created for the 1967 Expo 67 World’s Fair, a major international exposition, the island served as a key venue for showcasing innovations and cultural displays.

Following the World’s Fair, Notre Dame Island played a crucial role in the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics, further enhancing its global significance. However, after these major events concluded, the island underwent a remarkable transformation. Some visionary recognised the potential of the island’s road network and proposed converting it into a racetrack.

This vision materialised into what was initially named the Circuit Ile Notre-Dame. Utilising the existing infrastructure, the circuit was ingeniously designed to blend the island’s roadways into a world-class racetrack. This adaptive reuse not only provided a new purpose for the site post-Expo and Olympics but also introduced a new venue into the world of international motorsport.

When was the first Canadian Grand Prix?

Since its inception in 1961, the Canadian Grand Prix has been a prominent fixture in F1 where the event initially took place at Mosport Park, Ontario, where it began as a sports car race. It became a part of the Formula One World Championship in 1967 and subsequently alternated between Mosport and Circuit Mont-Tremblant in Quebec when Formula One adopted the race.

Following the 1971 race, concerns about safety led to the decision to hold the Grand Prix exclusively at Mosport. However, by 1978, similar safety issues at Mosport prompted another relocation. The Canadian Grand Prix then found its permanent home at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.

The move to Montréal in 1978 was prompted by safety concerns at Mosport Park, particularly following issues at the 1977 event. The new circuit in Montréal provided a safer and more modern venue for the race. In 1982, in a heartfelt tribute, the circuit was renamed in honour of Gilles Villeneuve, the legendary Canadian Formula One driver and father of Jacques Villeneuve, after his tragic death earlier that year.

Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve lap record

The official lap record for the current F1 Grand Prix layout is 1:13.078, set by Valtteri Bottas during the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix driving for Mercedes.