FIA reveal 13 track changes made for Canadian Grand Prix weekend

Michelle Foster
Canadian GP signage

Canadian GP signage

From being resurfaced to new kerbs being installed, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has undergone 13 changes since Max Verstappen won last year’s Canadian Grand Prix.

The Canadian Grand Prix, which has been a stalwart of the Formula 1 calendar since, has been held at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Notre Dame Island in Montreal for almost 40 years.

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has undergone 13 changes

One of the older circuits on the calendar, the Montreal venue has played host to thrillers from Thierry Boutsen’s first win in 1989 to 1999’s rise of the ‘Wall of Champions’ and Robert Kubica’s lucky escape in 2007 which also marked Lewis Hamilton’s maiden Grand Prix win.

The circuit has undergone several changes over the decades, although the last time the track’s layout was changed was back in 2002.

This year the organisers have again made several changes, ranging from resurfacing the track to lowering it between Turns 7 and 8 for better clearance under the Concorde Bridge.

FIA race director Niels Wittich revealed the 13 changes in his pre-race weekend notes:

• The track has been fully resurfaced.
• All kerbs have been replaced with new kerbs of the same specifications.
• The track surface between Turn 7 and Turn 8 has been lowered to increase the clearance between track and the Concorde Bridge to min. 4.0 m.
• The opening before Turn 2 on LHS at Pit Exit has been moved a few meters further downstream.
• The access road into Turn 5 and Turn 7 has been asphalted.
• The run-off at Turn 8 has been rebuilt with asphalt and grass. The walls have been realigned.
• The grass behind the kerb in Turn 1, Turn 3 and Turn 6 has been replaced with concrete.
• All walls have been realigned to guarantee 1.0 m height.
• The walls at pit exit have realigned on LHS at Pit Exit.
• The debris fence on LHS after Turn 11 has been upgraded to 3.5 m height.
• All TSP have a min. height of 2.5 m.
• The white line between Turn 2 and Turn 3 on LHS has been moved closer to the wall (1.8 m).
• The white line between Turn 7 and Turn 8 on LHS has been moved closer to the wall (1.8 m)

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Adjusting a few of the white lines, Wittich also clarified in his pre-race notes the track limits that will be monitored in Montreal.

“In accordance with the provisions of Article 33.3, the white lines define the track edges. During Qualifying and the Race, each time a driver fails to negotiate with the track limits, this will result in that lap time being invalidated by the Stewards,” he wrote.

“Any driver who fails to negotiate Turn 9 or Turn 14 and passes completely to the left of the orange apex kerb must keep completely to the left of the orange block/bollard on the exit of the corner and re-join the track at the far end of the asphalt run-off.

“Any driver who fails to negotiate with Turn 1 should re-join the track at the far end of the asphalt run-off at the entry of Turn 2.”

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