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Canada 2012 - Race information - Everything you need to know about the Canadian Grand Prix

Published by Christine

The last race in Monaco wasn't the spectacle we had all hoped for, but it did provide the sixth different winner of the year, with hopes that there could be a seventh this weekend in Montreal. Previous events in Canada have always provided a lot of action, so where Monaco failed to deliver, the race this weekend could make up for any lack of entertainment in the principality. The FIA have gone against Red Bull's intriguing floor concept, and they've also lowered the number of DRS zones. All change for Canada!

Event schedule

Mark Webber secured victory around the streets of Monte Carlo, keeping the championship nice and tight at the top. Just three points separate Fernando Alonso from second place Sebastian Vettel, who in turn is tied on points with his teammate. Meanwhile, Canada has treated Jenson Button well in the past, whilst his McLaren buddy Lewis Hamilton has mixed results at the track. Will we see a seventh winner this weekend?

Session Timetable
DateDaySessionGMT +0100Local
8 JunFridayFree Practice 115:0010:00
Free Practice 219:0014:00
9 JunSaturdayFree Practice 315:0010:00
10 JunSundayGrand Prix19:0014:00

Support racing for this event includes CTCC, Ferrari Challenge, Formula 1600 and Porsche IMSA GT3.

The weather

The forecasts suggest that there's plenty of rain over the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this week, with cooler temperatures on Friday and Saturday. The rain should start to clear as we draw towards race day, though, with a cloudy day predicted for Sunday. With conditions quite so changeable, who knows what will actually happen?


Montreal, Friday


  • Low 14℃
  • Humidity 52%

Heavy showers


Montreal, Saturday


  • Low 16℃
  • Humidity 85%



Montreal, Sunday


  • Low 19℃
  • Humidity 65%

Sunshine and clouds

Circuit map

Sidepodcast image
DRS Zones
DRS detection15m after turn 10
DRS activation600m before turn 13

Earlier this week, the FIA confirmed there would just be one DRS zone around the Montreal circuit, changing from last year's two. The zone has also been shortened by 50 metres, posing a completely different prospect to the racing in 2011.

Jenson Button's surprise win, despite being at the back of the field at one point, raised eyebrows that overtaking was too easy, hence the changes for the coming weekend.

The circuit

Circuit Data
NameCircuit Gilles Villeneuve
TimezoneGMT -0400
First Race1978
Length4.361 km
Distance305.270 km
Start / Finish Offset0.000 km

Following the Monaco race is a tough act, but Montreal is one of the best to stand up to the challenge. A difficult circuit, but popular with drivers and fans alike, the crowds gather to create a great racing atmosphere for the Grand Prix weekend.

This year, the track has had a few tweaks, mostly to help address safety concerns. Some guard railings have been replaced with walls, with additional fencing on top to stop any wayward debris. All the white lines have been repainted with FIA-approved non-slip paint, as have the kerbs, to help avoid any accidents in that area.

Meanwhile, the track remains a challenge for the teams with long, fast straights leading to tight corners. Braking is tough around the track, and grip is super important - particularly as the condition of the tarmac can never be relied upon.

What with all that, and the odd marmot or two, Canada really does have the potential for entertainment.

2011 Results
Free Practice 1Nico RosbergMercedes1:15.591Live / Results
Free Practice 2Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:15.107Live / Results
Free Practice 3Sebastian VettelRed Bull1:13.381Live / Results
QualifyingSebastian VettelRed Bull1:13.014Live / Results
Grand PrixJenson ButtonMcLaren1:23:50.995Live / Results
Fastest LapJenson ButtonMcLaren1:16.956

Tyre compounds

Supersoft and soft compounds
Supersoft and soft compounds

For the second race weekend in a row, the soft and supersoft tyres are the chosen compounds. In Monaco, we saw a lack of pitstops that came as something of a surprise given the number that have been in preceding events. However, the strategies also seemed to be slightly subdued, given everyone's desire to save rubber.

Pirelli's motorsport boss is hopeful things will be slightly more exciting in Canada.

The soft and supersoft tyres should be able to demonstrate more of their natural characteristics than they were able to in Monaco, where drivers are constrained by very low average speeds and not much energy going through the tyre. This enabled them to complete very long runs even on the supersoft, which should not be the case in Montreal where the tyres have more work to do.

- Paul Hembery

Press conference schedule

Official press conferences are organised by the FIA and happen four times during the weekend. The qualifying and post race press conferences will take place after the television unilateral interviews.

Press Conference Schedule
Thursday11:00Jenson ButtonMcLaren
Paul di RestaForce India
Felipe MassaFerrari
Sergio PérezSauber
Jean-Éric VergneToro Rosso
Mark WebberRed Bull
Friday16:00Antonio CuquerellaHRT
Graeme LowdonMarussia
Mark GillanWilliams
Andrew GreenForce India
Jonathan NealeMcLaren
SaturdayPost qualifyingThree fastest drivers
SundayPost raceFirst three finishing drivers

Race stewards

The FIA stewarding process was changed last year to include a former F1 driver to give added insight. These are the stewards overseeing this weekend's action.

F1 Stewards
Martin DonnellyFormula One Driver 1989-1990
José AbedFIA Vice President
Gerd EnnserMember of DMSB's Executive Committee for Automobile Sport

All content in the series Canada 2012