The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is located in a part of Montreal known as Parc Jean-Drapeau, the mayor of the city who was responsible for the organization of Expo 67.
Originally named the Ile Notre-Dame Circuit, it was renamed in honour of the legendary Canadian Formula One driver Gilles Villeneuve, father of Jacques Villeneuve, following his death in 1982.
The circuit lies on Ile Notre-Dame, a man-made island in the St. Lawrence River most of which was originally built up for Expo 67. The neighbouring island Ile Sainte-Hélène had been artificially enlarged for the fairgrounds and a prominent remnant of the fair, the Biosphere can be regularly seen during television coverage of the Grand Prix.
Almost half of the track ' from the hairpin turn until after the pit area ' runs alongside the Olympic Basin, a huge rectangular basin which was created for the rowing and canoeing events of Montreal's 1976 Summer Olympics.
Barriers run close to the circuit and many experienced drivers have been caught out by them. A particularly famous part of the circuit is the wall on the outside of the exit of the final chicane before the start/finish straight. In 1999 the wall, which used to bear the words Bienvenue au Quebec (Welcome to Quebec) giving it the nickname "Mur du Quebec" (Quebec Wall), ended the race of three Formula One World Champions, Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve along with FIA GT champion Ricardo Zonta. Since then the wall has been nicknamed "The Wall of Champions".
In recent years world champions Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel have fallen victim to the wall, as have Nico rosberg (GP2 champion) and Juan Pablo Montoya (CART champion).
Changes made in 2005 to the kerbs at the final chicane caused unrest amongst drivers in the run-up to the Grand Prix, the kerbs were made higher and more difficult for the drivers to see, making it even more challenging.
As the circuit has hosted different racing series, it is possible to directly compare the series' lap times. In 2002, F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya took pole position for the Grand Prix with a lap time of 1:12.836. Several weeks later, during the inaugural Champ Car Grand Prix of Montreal, Cristiano da Matta took pole with a time of 1:18.959.
In 2006, the last time Champ Car and F1 ran on the same track, Formula One was 5 to 7 seconds faster than Champ Car. The pole position in Formula One was set by Fernando Alonso with a time of 1:14.942, while Sebastien Bourdais took pole in 1:20.005 in a Champ Car. The fastest lap in the Formula One race was 1:15.841 by Kimi Raikkonen, while Sebastien Bourdais' fastest lap was 1:22.325 in the Champ Car race.
Fast Facts - Provided by the FIA
2015 marked the 46th running of the Canadian Grand Prix, with the previous 35 held on the Ile Notre-Dame. The race first came here in 1978. It was won by Gilles Villeneuve for Ferrari. The track at that time was called the Circuit Ile Notre-Dame.
McLaren are the most successful team at the Canadian Grand Prix with 13 victories, compared to Ferrari's 11. Ferrari, however, are more successful in Montreal with ten wins to McLaren's nine.
15 of the 35 grands prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve have been won from pole position. Despite the circuit's reputation as one of the easier venues at which to pass, the race has never been won by anyone starting outside the top 10 grid positions. Jacques Lafitte holds the record for winning from furthest back, taking victory from P10 for Ligier in 1981.
Unseasonable weather resulted in the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix acquiring the record for the lowest average racewinning speed - Jenson Button taking victory at an average of 74.844kp/h. This is an anomaly caused by the race being halted for two hours while a cell of torrential rain passed over the circuit.
Unsurprisingly, that race also holds the record for the longest duration, Button crossing the finishing line 4hr 4:39.537 after the start.
The 2011 race also holds the record for the most Safety Car deployments during a grand prix. It took to the track six times.
With seven victories, Michael Schumacher is comfortably the most successful driver in Canadian Grand Prix history. The German driver won at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 1994, 1997-8, 2000, 2002-4.
Daniel Ricciardo took his maiden F1 victory at last year's Canadian Grand Prix. The other drivers to break their duck in Canada are: Gilles Villeneuve, Thierry Boutsen (1989), Jean Alesi (1995), Hamilton (2007) and Robert Kubica (2008).
Alesi and Kubica share the distinction of Canada being their solitary victory. The other drivers who took a final victory in Canada are: Nelson Piquet (1991), Lafitte and Peter Revson (1973).
Canada is the hardest braking grand prix of the year. Five of the seven braking points see the cars scrub off around 200km/h as they rapidly decelerate for tight turns. The hardest braking point is for the final chicane where cars brake from upwards of 330 km/h down to around 120km/h. The driver will experience over 5.5G as they lineup the right-left flick at the Wall of Champions.