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
2018 marked the 49th Canadian Grand Prix and the 39th to be held in Montreal. 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 came with Benetton in 1994 and after joining Ferrari in 1996 he claimed another six in Montreal, in 1997, 1998, 2000 and from 2002-'04, all with the Scuderia.
Lewis Hamilton can equal the German's record this weekend as victory here last year took the Briton's Montreal total to six. After scoring his maiden F1 win here in 2007 with McLaren he added further wins for the Woking team in 2010 and 2012, before embarking on a hat-trick for Mercedes, starting in 2015.
Hamilton can also this weekend break Schumacher's record of Canadian Grand Prix pole positions. Both men have six poles in Montreal, with Schumacher's being scored in 1994 and 1995, with Benetton, and then in 1997 and from 1999-2001, with Ferrari. Hamilton's first pole here was his first ever, in 2007, with McLaren. He was on pole again with McLaren in 2008 and 2010 and he has started the last three races here from the front of the grid, with Mercedes.
The only other current drivers to have a pole position to their name at this track are Sebastian Vettel (2011, 2012 and 2013, all with Red Bull Racing) and Fernando Alonso, who landed pole here in 2006 with Renault.
Four other current race drivers have also won here, though only Hamilton is a multiple winner. Kimi Raikkonen won in 2005 for McLaren, Fernando Alonso for Renault in 2006, Sebastian Vettel for Red Bull Racing in 2013 and Daniel Ricciardo scored his maiden grand prix victory here in 2014, again with Red Bull Racing.
Another driver who can this weekend break a record set by Schumacher is Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn and the German are tied for most fastest laps in Montreal, with each having four. Raikkonen took two with McLaren (2005 and 2006) and two with Ferrari (2008 and 2015).
The most successful constructor at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is Ferrari with 10 wins, one ahead of McLaren. The British squad is more successful in Canada overall, however, with 13 victories, two ahead of Ferrari.
Sebastian Vettel is set to start his 10th Canadian Grand Prix this weekend. The German has never failed to finish in Montreal and is the only current driver with more than one Canadian Grand Prix to his name to have scored points every single time he has raced here. Vettel's current team-mate, Raikkonen, can boast the most points finishes of a current driver (13) but an otherwise perfect scoring record is blemished by a 2008 DNF, when he was crashed into by Hamilton in the pit lane.
Since the current circuit configuration came into use in 2002 the race has been won from pole position eight times from 15 events, with three occurring in the last three years. Raikkonen, in 2005, and Jenson Button, in 2011, hold the record for wins from furthest back on the grid on this configuration. Both won from P7 on the grid.