The Circuit Gillies Villeneuve has seen many memorable memories over the years. Lewis Hamilton’s first win in 2007, Robert Kubica’s and Sauber’s only win in 2008, that Wall of Champions race in 1999 and that four hours and four-minute marathon of a race in 2011.
Meet the wall 1999
The 1999 race saw the emergence of an iconic corner in Montreal. The final chicane had always been tricky, but this year would claim a number of world champions. Four drivers spun off at turn thirteen which consequence became known as ‘The Wall of Champions.’
It was not a champion who was first into the wall, it was BAR’s Ricardo Zonta who spun off on the third lap of the race. Next, it was the first champion to hit the wall on lap fifteen, Damon Hill hit his Jordan against the wall but pulled off without needing a safety car.
Next was the two times champion Michael Schumacher, the German was trying to build his lead before his pit stop. But, his rear got away from him sliding him into the wall breaking his front and rear suspension.
Surely by now, everyone had learnt to be careful, not so as Jacques Villeneuve was next. The Canadian hit the wall on lap 35, that brought the safety car out again!
The winner was Mika Hakkinen with half the field retiring from the race.
Hamilton shines in 2007
Lewis Hamilton’s first victory in Formula One came in Montreal. The 21-year-old took his first win in the sixth race of his career becoming the youngest ever Grand Prix winner (at the time). The race was action packed including a huge crash for Sauber’s Robert Kubica.
The Pole crashed at 180mph rolling his car at the hairpin. The Pole hit the back of the Toyota of Jarno Trulli which sent him off into the wall just
Meanwhile, Hamilton’s McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso was out of the fight after he ran wide at the first corner, and slipped down to third place behind Heidfeld. He was then taken completely out of contention through no fault of his own.
The first safety car came because of a crash involving Spyker’s Ardian Sutil as he ran out of fuel. Renault’s Heikki Kovalainen was another beneficiary, taking an impressive fourth place after crashing in qualifying and starting from the back.
Kubica takes only win 2008
Twelve months on from Kubica’s crash he took victory as both Hamilton and Raikkonen crashed out in the pit lane. The red light was on when they prepared to exit the pits under the safety car, Hamilton was carrying too much speed and knew he would hit either Raikkonen or Kubica.
Both Hamilton and Raikkonen were out on the spot. Until that incident Hamilton looked to have control of the race, he had almost a seven second lead over the Pole.
The incident broke the right-front suspension of Hamilton’s car, putting him out of the race, and damaged the rear of Raikkonen’s Ferrari sufficiently for him to be forced into retirement
Button wins marathon 2011
the 2011 race was defined by the weather the race started in very heavy rain with more on the way during the race. Button started from fourth behind his team-mate Lewis Hamilton but the two made contact on the start-finish straight, dropping him to last.
Button then was last but miraculously was running second when Sebastian Vettel made a mistake on the last lap of the race when “Vettel goes wide, Button leads the Grand Prix.”
Button worked his way back from twenty-second to take victory in conditions which were just awful. Luck must have been on Button’s side that day, that last lap “Vettel goes wide, Button leads the Grand Prix.”