Lewis Hamilton is on the brink of becoming F1’s most successful driver in Canada, Valtteri Bottas is on a Montreal podium streak and Romain Grosjean really could do with some points here. We take a look at each driver’s history at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve!
The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is undeniably a track which Lewis Hamilton performs consistently well at. Hamilton took his maiden Formula One victory at this track back in 2007, and since then has finished on the podium on every occasion where he’s seen the chequered flag. With six wins, Hamilton could equal Michael Schumacher’s record tally of seven victories at the track this weekend, and could also beat the German’s record of six Canadian Grand Prix poles. Hamilton has never qualified lower than fifth at the track, and has been beaten by his team-mate on a Saturday here only once. If Hamilton takes pole this weekend, it’ll be the first time a driver has taken four consecutive poles at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. In terms of points, Hamilton is the most successful driver from the current grid in Canada, having scored 150 points in total from his ten appearances.
Much like his team-mate, Valtteri Bottas performs consistently well in Canada. His debut season in 2013 in the only time where he has failed to score a point at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. In all three of the past seasons, the Finn has finished on the podium here, including in 2016 which was Williams’ only podium appearance of the season. Bottas has reached Q3 on all of his five Canadian Grand Prix appearances, but is yet to have a front row start at the track. Last year marked the first time a team-mate has beaten him in Qualifying at this track.
Sebastian Vettel holds a 100% finish record in Canada, as well as a 100% points finish record. The German has never finished below eighth at the Montreal track and, since 2010, hasn’t finished outside of the top five. Despite not winning since 2013, Vettel has taken podium finishes in four of the last five Canadian Grands Prix. Vettel has reached Q3 on all but two occasions here. A crash in Free Practice Three in 2008 and power unit issues in 2015 prevented him from setting competitive times on both occasions. Vettel last took pole here in 2013, in the last of three consecutive starts from pole.
Kimi Raikkonen hasn’t appeared on the podium in Canada since driving for McLaren in 2006. The only time the Finn has failed to finish a race here was in 2008, when Lewis Hamilton clattered into him at the end of the pit-lane. Aside from 2008, Raikkonen has scored on every appearance at the track. 2012 is the only occasion where Raikkonen hasn’t reached Q3. Raikkonen hasn’t beaten a team-mate on pure pace in Qualifying here since 2013, though does have good speed here, having set the fastest race lap on four occasions at the circuit.
Daniel Ricciardo memorably took his first Formula One victory in Canada in 2014. Since then, the Australian has only appearance on the podium here once – last season. Ricciardo has a 100% finish record at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, but has only finished in the points three times. He’s reached Q3 at every attempt at this track, except for in his début season. He’s only beaten a team-mate in Qualifying in Canada twice.
Max Verstappen has only scored at this track once in his career, when he finished fourth in 2016. For the past two seasons, Verstappen has qualified in fifth. 2017 was the first time that the Dutchman has beaten a team-mate in Qualifying in Canada.
After withdrawing from the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix due to not being fully recovered from his crash in Monaco, Sergio Perez raced for the first time here in 2012 and finished on the podium. Since then, Perez has only scored twice, with a best result of fifth in 2017. He’s reached Q3 only twice at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and has been eliminated in Q2 on four occasions. 2013 and 2017 are the only years where Perez has beaten his team-mate in Qualifying here.
Esteban Ocon has only raced here once previously. In 2017, the Frenchman reached Q3, qualifying in ninth, and made up three places in the race to finish just one place behind his team-mate.
Lance Stroll had a race to remember on his first appearance at his home Grand Prix. He made up eight places in the race to finish ninth and score the first points of his Formula One career. He became the first Canadian driver to score a point in F1 since Jacques Villeneuve at the 2006 British Grand Prix.
Sergey Sirotkin has no previous experience at this track.
Nico Hulkenberg’s best result at this track came in 2014, when he finished in fifth. In all of the last three seasons, the German driver has finished in eighth. He’s never qualified below thirteenth, meaning he’s always progressed through to Q2 at the track. In every year since 2013, Hulkenberg has beaten his team-mate in qualifying here.
From his three races here, Carlos Sainz has only scored once – in 2016, when he finished in ninth. In that race, he made up eleven places from the back of the grid after receiving penalties for power unit changes. Sainz hasn’t beaten a team-mate in Qualifying here since his debut season, and has been eliminated in Q2 on all three of his Canadian Grand Prix appearances.
Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley
Neither of the Toro Rosso drivers have raced at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve before.
It’s fair to say that Romain Grosjean doesn’t have the best record here. Since his podium appearance in 2012, the Frenchman has scored only two points in Canada, finishing tenth in both 2015 and 2017. Grosjean in the only current driver to have been eliminated in Q1 and Q2 and to have reached Q3 at this track. On both of his appearances for Haas at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Grosjean has failed to reach Q3.
Kevin Magnussen has not scored a point at the Canadian Grand Prix since his maiden season, where he finished ninth for McLaren. He has never reached Q3 here, nor has he ever beaten a team-mate in Qualifying here, but he has gained places from his grid position on all three of his past visits to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Fernando Alonso celebrates his 300th Grand Prix appearance this weekend, and will be hoping to score a point – something which he has failed to do at this track since 2014. On the plus side, the Spaniard has never been eliminated in Q1 here before, and has beaten his team-mate in qualifying in Canada in every season since 2008.
Stoffel Vandoorne has only one previous Canadian Grand Prix experience. In 2017, he was eliminated in Q1 and made up two places in the race to finish fourteenth.
Marcus Ericsson may not have reached Q2 at the Canadian Grand Prix since 2015, but he has beaten his team-mate in Qualifying here in all of his four seasons in F1. He’s made up six places in each of the last two races here but is yet to score a point in Montreal.
Charles Leclerc has no past Canadian Grand Prix experience.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. The blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations, Motorsport Guides and WTF1. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.