Canadian Grand Prix | Legends victories

No fewer than 24 different drivers have won the Canadian Grand Prix since Ile Notre Dame hosted it. Some victories set morale more than others. A step back in time…

Posted yesterday at 7:00 am

Catherine Harvey Benard

Catherine Harvey Benard

The Triumph of Gilles Villeneuve 1978

On October 8, 1978, about 72,000 spectators attended the first Grand Prix in Montreal’s history – it had previously been held in Ontario. On the grid, driving a Ferrari, Quebecers line up. A certain Gil Villeneuve This is his first full season in Formula 1.

At that time, Villeneuve was not yet a star, far from it. Many, starting with the Italian press, doubt his true potential, question his talent. Arriving in the capital, the then 28-year-old athlete was still looking for his first victory in the Grand Prix.

at 25e In turn, he finds himself in second place. In front of him, Frenchman Jean-Pierre Garrier leads by 28 seconds. Villeneuve, the fighter, chases after his rival. in 49e In a bosom, Greer’s engine malfunctioned, forcing him to retire. Quebec took advantage of this, finished the race smoothly and won his first Formula 1 victory.

On that day, Gilles Villeneuve became a hero and idol. At the circuit that now bears his name, he has proven to the world that he deserves his place in Formula 1.

Andre Pechet photos, press archives

Ralf and Michael Schumacher on the podium at the Montreal Grand Prix in 2004

Double Schumacher – 2001

At the 1998 Italian Grand Prix, Michael and Ralf Schumacher became the first two brothers to share the podium. The first came out victorious, while the second took third place.

Three years later, in Montreal, they did better…

Michael Schumacher, driving his Ferrari, takes the lead on the grid. His brother is right behind him at Williams. It was Michael who led a significant part of the race, relentlessly followed by his younger brother, who tried to overtake him several times.

in 46e Round, Elder makes his only hole-stop. So Ralph takes the lead and sprints for five laps before getting into the pits in turn. He is out by six seconds over his brother. He advanced as he digs into 20 seconds for his second win of the season.

The brothers take the podium together again, but in the first two steps this time.

That’s not all: Michael and Ralph found a way to repeat the feat two years later, still in Montreal. Except that this time, Michael was victorious.

Photography by François Roy, Press Archives

Lewis Hamilton in 2007, Saint Catherine Street in Montreal, signing autographs

1st of 103 for Hamilton – 2007

Every great career begins with the first victory. Lewis Hamilton signed in Montreal.

In 2007, the Briton drove the colors of McLaren in his first season in Formula 1. His debut was amazing. When he arrived in the capital in June, he already had five podiums in the same number of races.

On this day in June 10, Hamilton is in pole position in his career. His teammate Fernando Alonso comes in second. Hamilton is making a big lead in the first laps.

In total, the safety car had to interfere four times in the race and eight drivers did not cross the finish line. Robert Kubica, in particular, is a victim of a horrific accident, so he only miraculously emerges from a concussion and an ankle sprain. Hamilton remains well proven in front of the peloton and drives flawlessly to victory and becomes, at the same time, the first black driver to win a race in F1.

This was the beginning of an impressive career that continues to this day for Hamilton. Fifteen years later, at the age of 37, he has 7 championships and 183 podiums, including 103 victories, in 295 Grand Prix. A legend, you say? No doubt.

Photo by Bernard Brault, La Presse archive

Jenson Button after his 2011 victory in Montreal

Jenson Button, sexy – 2011

In 2011 McLaren driver Jenson Button had a stunning success after a chaotic race of more than four hours.

Bouton starts seventh under a rainy Montreal sky. From the first laps, he was involved in a collision that caused teammate Lewis Hamilton to retire and he was forced out of the safety car. The race resumes at 12 o’clocke in a lap, but Button receives a penalty and has to go into the pit, which then puts him at 15e Rank.

Slowly but surely, the Briton climbs up the slope. at 25e In turn, heavy rain forced the interruption of the race. Pilots must wait more than two hours (!) before resuming work.

In total, the Safety Car is needed four times in this race. The button must stop when drilling at least six times.

at 70e And the last round, the button is 2e. He took advantage of a simple mistake by German Sebastian Vettel, who has been leading the race since the start of the race, to take the lead and race towards the checkered flag.

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