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NEED TO KNOW: The most important facts, stats and trivia ahead of the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix

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Formula 1 heads from Europe to North America for the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend. Need to Know is your all-in-one guide for the week ahead with statistics, driving pointers, strategy tips and plenty more. You can also keep track of how fans have voted using our popular F1 Play predictor game.

The action in Montreal will begin with first and second practice on Friday, June 7, followed by final practice and qualifying on Saturday, June 8, and then the main event, the Canadian Grand Prix itself, on Sunday, June 9.

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Vital statistics

  • First Grand Prix – 1967 (Mosport)
  • Track Length – 4.361km
  • Lap record – 1m 13.078s, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 2019
  • Most pole positions – Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton (6)
  • Most wins – Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton (7)
  • Trivia – Canada played host to the longest race in F1 history in 2011, with the clock stopping at four hours, four minutes and 39 seconds
  • Pole run to Turn 1 braking point – 186 metres
  • Overtakes completed in 2023 – 46
  • Safety Car probability – 67%
  • Virtual Safety Car probability – 67%
  • Pit stop time loss – 18.35 seconds (including 2.5s stop)

FAN VIEW: Recent events in Miami, Imola and Monaco put a new perspective on this 2024 season – it’s no longer just about Max Verstappen. The Dutchman heads the Canada F1 Play voting with just over 25%, but he has company with Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri (both McLaren) right behind him.

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The driver’s verdict

Jolyon Palmer, former Renault F1 driver: Canada is a really nice track to drive and you get a sense of atmosphere going around it. Overhanging trees give it the feel of a park and it feels like a street circuit – in essence, it is.

There are a lot of slow-speed corners, the walls are very close in a lot of places, but it’s a great racetrack. You need a good front-end to get your car turned into the chicanes, which are pretty much everywhere.

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Then there’s the hairpin, which launches you into an overtaking area at the final chicane. If not there, maybe you’ll have a little sniff of something into Turn 1. Turns 1 and 2 are pretty tricky because you’re approaching Turn 1 very, very fast, arcing to the right as you’re braking, and then hurling speed to the left.

If you have any sort of moment coming to Turn 1, you’re really off-line or cutting the corner down towards Turn 2. And tyre warm-up sometimes isn’t ideal here, particularly on chillier days in Montreal.

DHL Fastest Lap Award – 2023 Canadian Grand Prix

Last five Canadian GP pole-sitters

  • 2023 – Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
  • 2022 – Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
  • 2019 – Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
  • 2018 – Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
  • 2017 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

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Last five Canadian GP winners

  • 2023 – Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
  • 2022 – Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
  • 2019 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
  • 2018 – Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
  • 2017 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

FAN VIEW: Things are very different here, with F1 Play gamers having much more time for the race pace of the RB20 and Verstappen enjoying a much more significant advantage. Almost 70% of gamers like his chances of topping the podium in Montreal, with Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) also coming in for plenty of support.

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Verstappen has claimed pole position and victory on the last two visits to Canada

Tyre and strategy insight

“The entire track has been resurfaced for this year and the kerbs have been replaced,” reads Pirelli’s preview ahead of the race weekend.

“On paper, the track’s existing characteristics of low abrasiveness and therefore reduced grip should remain the same, but the real indications will have to wait until the Pirelli engineers carry out their first measurement tests on Wednesday.

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“For most of the year, the track is only used by people on foot or cyclists and so lap times generally drop significantly as the cars rubber-in the surface. Graining might also occur, especially on Friday and particularly with the softer compounds.

“The tyres are subjected to very low lateral forces, although the longitudinal ones are greater, but overall, Montreal is one of the easiest tracks of the season on tyres.

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“In last year’s race, all three dry compounds came into play with a mix of strategies with some drivers, including the three who finished on the podium, going for a two-stop while others pitted just the once, trying to lengthen the opening stint as much as possible.

“One has to take into consideration that the Safety Car is a frequent visitor and that a longer first stint therefore offers the best chance of minimising time lost changing tyres.

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“The weather, always very changeable in June, generally plays its part in the Quebec event. A cold, rainy, windy day, can be followed by sunshine and warmth, but temperatures can even vary considerably in the space of one day.”

FAN VIEW: There are no major shocks here with the two Ferraris and two McLarens dominating the F1 Play voting for podium spots alongside Verstappen. The biggest surprises are two men who have virtually no support – Sergio Perez of Red Bull and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes).

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Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is made up of long straights, chicanes and heavy braking zones

Current form

Red Bull kicked off the 2024 season with a pair of one-two finishes and four victories from the opening five races, but they have won just one of the last three as rivals Ferrari and McLaren ramp up the pressure.

Indeed, Max Verstappen was beaten to the chequered flag by Lando Norris via a mid-race Safety Car in Miami, while last time out on Monaco, Charles Leclerc starred all weekend on home soil to add to the title race intrigue.

READ MORE: Horner calls on Red Bull to ‘understand weaknesses’ after challenging Monaco GP weekend

It was clear that Red Bull’s RB20 struggled to get to grips with the tight, twisty nature of the Monte Carlo track, as well as the many bumps and kerbs, which will also be a feature at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this weekend.

With a three-team championship fight looking more and more possible, the margins at the top of the standings are now suitably tight – Verstappen leading Leclerc by a reduced 31 points and Red Bull only 24 ahead of Ferrari.

It’s all to play for as we head into the second third of the season...

FAN VIEW: There is good support as ever for the Aston Martins of Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll, and for RB’s rising Japanese star Yuki Tsunoda. The Haas pair of Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg are fancied to go well in Canada, while there is also a fair bit of backing from F1 Play gamers for Valtteri Bottas (Kick Sauber).

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Iconic moment

Robert Kubica was involved in a terrifying crash at the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix, experiencing an impact so big that it forced him to miss the next round of the season in the United States, where future four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel made a point-scoring F1 debut.

But the Pole’s next visit to Montreal was much more enjoyable as he grabbed a spot on the front row of the grid and took advantage of drama around him – including an unusual collision between Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen in the pit lane – to emerge victorious.

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It would go down as Kubica’s one and only Grand Prix win, with his and BMW Sauber’s challenge for 2008 title glory fading as the year went on and rival teams out-developed them, but it remains a memorable moment for himself and his home country.

Watch how it all unfolded in the video player below...

From horror crash to victory - Robert Kubica's Canadian GP redemption

Elsewhere in Montreal

There's more happening around the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve this weekend that may be of interest, involving biodiversity, the local community and public transport...

  • STEM students from four universities competing in a competition to design and develop a Formula 1-style car have been invited to showcase their work at the Grand Prix on Thursday. The students will have the chance to meet drivers and discuss their passion with engineers from some of the F1 teams.

  • The children accompanying the drivers at the pre-race Grid Ceremony have been chosen by Les Petits Renards, a local community organisation helping children and teenagers living in vulnerable situations, as well as their families.

THIS WEEK IN F1: 10 tricky quiz questions on the week's news – and F1 history in Canada

  • 97% of this weekend's attendees will use eco-friendly transportation to attend the event. The metropolitan area around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve allows for easy access by public transportation, taxis, or carpool.

  • Leftover food from the Paddock, Paddock Club, Promoter Hospitality and local suppliers will be donated to La Tablee des Chefs, a charity focused on reducing food insecurity. Last year, 13,933 kg, or 46,442 portions of food, were donated through this programme.

  • Notre Dame Island, which hosts the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, has protected areas within it. It is home to over 280 animal species, including 180 types of bird, it's a great site for birdwatching if that's your thing!

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