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
2017 marks the 48th Canadian Grand Prix and the 38th held at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The race has been held at two other venues: Mosport in 1967, '69, from '71-'74 and ‘76-'77, and Mont Tremblant in 1968 and 1970.
Michael Schumacher holds the record for most Canadian Grand Prix wins, with seven. His first win came in 1994 with Benetton and all that followed were registered with Ferrari ('97, '98, 2000 and 2002-'04).
Lewis Hamilton is closing in on the legendary German's record, however. The Briton scored his maiden F1 win here in 2007 with McLaren and 188 races later he will this weekend seek his sixth Montreal victory. Following his 2007 success, Hamilton won here twice more with McLaren in 2010 and 2012 and with Mercedes in 2015 and last year.
Apart from Hamilton five other drivers have scored their maiden grand prix win in Canada: Gilles Villeneuve in 1978; Thierry Boutsen in 1989; Jean Alesi in 1995; Robert Kubica in 2008, and Daniel Ricciardo in 2014. All Canada's first time winners stop atop the podium in Montreal.
Apart from Hamilton, five current drivers have also won here: Kimi Räikkönen in 2005 for McLaren; Fernando Alonso (Renault, 2006); Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing, 2013), and Ricciardo, (Red Bull Racing, 2014). All except Hamilton have just a single Canadian Grand Prix victory to their name.
The most successful constructor at the Canadian Grand Prix is McLaren with 13 wins. Ferrari have 11 victories, while Williams have seven. The most successful constructor in Montreal is Ferrari with 10 wins, while McLaren have nine wins at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Ferrari have far and away the greatest number of podium finishes in Montreal, with 30. Ten behind them are McLaren and Williams, while Benetton are third with nine podium finishes here. Red Bull Racing are next on the list with six.
In 37 events, the Montreal race has been won from pole 17 times. Five of those victories from the front of the grid have come in the past 10 years. Hamilton achieved the feat in 2007, '10, '15 and '16, while Sebastian Vettel won from pole position in 2013.
Michael Schumacher has the most pole positions in Montreal with six ('94-'95, '97, '99, 2000-01) followed by Hamilton with five ('07-'08, '10, '15-16) . Only two other current drivers have been on pole here - Sebastian Vettel (2011-13) and Fernando Alonso (2006).
Five drivers have set the first fastest lap of their Formula One career at the Canadian Grand Prix. They are: Patrick Tambay (1983), Jonathan Palmer (1989), Eddie Irvine (1999), Fernando Alonso (2003) and Robert Kubica (2010).
Four drivers have recorded their first career podium finish at the Canadian Grand Prix: Mark Donohue (1971), Stefan Johansson (1985) Eddie Irvine (1995) and Giancarlo Fisichella in 1997.