Home  //  Circuit Guides Formula 1 Canada (Montreal)
Written by @Damien_Marquez   
Tuesday, 07 June 2016 23:41

The Canadian Grand Prix is the country's biggest sport event and one of the best F1 rounds to attend. It takes place on the 10-11-12 June 2016 in Montréal, a city where North America takes on European charms. As well as being Canada's cultural hub, the city enjoys a brilliant party atmosphere during the weekend, which is reminiscent to that of Melbourne, Singapore or even Austin. And although it might be the second biggest French speaking city in the world, Montréal is a bilingual place where English is widely spoken.

Attendance is traditionally high and most grandstands will be quite full, if not sold out. There is plenty to do and see back in the city centre once the on-track activities have finished for the day. Rue Sainte-Catherine and Rue Crescent are great spots for bars and partying day and night. Little Italy is more focussed on food and restaurants.


View from Grandstand 11 - Image: MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team

The race at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve is generally action packed. Over the past few years, we've witnessed Daniel Ricciardo's maiden win, Jenson Button's success from the back in 2011 and a pitlane pile up that allowed Robert Kubica to win for BMW-Sauber in 2008. Support series this year include rounds 3&4 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, two Ferrari Challenge and a Formula Tour 1600 races.

 

CONTENTS

1 // Location and accommodation
2 // Money matters
3 // Ticket prices
4 // Which grandstand to choose
5 // Tips and recommendations
6 // Useful links to prepare your Montréal trip

 

 

1 // LOCATION AND ACCOMMODATION

The circuit is located in the centre of the city on the Ile Notre-Dame and is no more than 30 minutes away from most hotels. It is easy to get to via the Metro system, which is cheap, clean and safe.

Grandstands 1, 11, and 12 are located at the other end of the island and require a 30 minute walk from the Jean-Drapeau station on Line 4 Yellow.

Accommodation close to the Berri-UQAM Metro station is the most convenient as just one stop away from the Jean-Drapeau station on Line 4 Yellow. The Berri-UQAM Metro station is a major interchange connecting to Line 1 Green and Line 2 Orange. Getting a hotel downtown anywhere close to those two lines will be fine too. See links section for a map of the STM Metro network.


Grandstand 11 - Photo: Sauber Motorsport AG

 

 

2 // MONEY MATTERS

The Canadian Grand Prix fits within the average Formula 1 weekend as far as costs are concerned. Flights from Europe and Asia can be quite expensive, so booking flights as soon as the World Motor Sport Council ratifies the F1 calendar in December is recommended if you're on a budget. Tickets for the event usually go on sale from August.

Return airfares to Montréal start from:
• €600 from Nice (Monaco)
• £600 (direct) or £500 (1 stop) from London
• €1,200 (direct) or €800 (1 stop) from Frankfurt
• $700 (direct) or $400 (1 stop) from New York
• S$2,500 (direct) from Singapore
• A$4,100 (1 stop) or A$3,500 (2 stops) from Sydney

Four night accommodation from:
C$420 / $330 / £230 / €290 for a three star double/twin room with a review score of 7/10 or more on Booking.com.

Visa:
Most westerners will only require a C$7 Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), US citizens are exempt. To see the full list of eligible countries, go to www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/. Others may be required to apply for a tourist visa.

Food and drinks:
C$240 / $240 / £160 / €190 per person for four days.

Airport transfer to Downtown Montréal:
• C$40 / $38 / £23 / €31 for a one way taxi fare; or
• C$10 / $10 / £6 / €8 for a single 747 bus journey.

Métro fares:
• Single ticket C$3.25 / $3 / £2 / €2.50
• 1-day pass C$10 / $10 / £6 / €8
• 3-day pass C$18 / $17 / £11 / €14
• weekly pass C$25.50 / $24 / £15 / €20

Internet access:
• C$30.75 / $29 / £18 / €24 for a prepaid SIM card and 200MB of 4G mobile data on Bell
• C$60.75 / $58 / £35 / €47 for a prepaid SIM card and 500MB of 4G mobile data on Telus.

TOTAL BUDGET (excluding flights, visa and tickets) from:
C$750 / $710 / £430 / €580 for a solo traveller or C$1,000 / $950 / £570 / €770 for a couple.


Family Grandstand 33 - Click to enlarge - Image: MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team

 

 

3 // TICKET PRICES

Grandstand tickets are strictly 3-day only except for the Popular Grandstands. The Family Grandstand 33 allows children aged 15 or under to who are accompanied by an adult to be seated free of charge and those 65 and over to attend at half price. One free general admission ticket is also available per child aged 11 and under accompanying one adult general admission ticket holder.

The Canadian Grand Prix is very well attended, so purchase your tickets early to avoid disappointment. Tickets for the following year's event usually go on sale at the end of September, well before the next season calendar is confirmed in December and the provisional date might change. The organisers are quite active as far as promotions are concerned, so keep and eye out for Cyber Tuesday at the end of November to receive a 50% discount on the Popular grandstand and general admission as well as a Valentine's Day 2 for 1 promotion also for general admission.

The above prices are those of the race organisers and are inclusive of all fees and taxes. Exchange rates are sourced from xe.com and based on the highest rate since the last Canadian Grand Prix. Grandstand and General Admission ticket prices have been rounded up to the nearest $/£/€10 whereas hospitality tickets have been rounded up to the nearest $/£/€100.


Click to enlarge
- Image: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

 

 

4 // WHICH GRANDSTAND TO CHOOSE

General admission views are somewhat limited and choosing a grandstand ticket is a bit of a no-brainer. With the exception of the two Popular grandstands, all others are equipped with a large TV screen opposite for spectators to follow all of the action around the track. None of the grandstands are sheltered, so opt for hospitality packages if this is an essential requirement.

Grandstand 1 are for the pre-race grid activities, the start/finish line, pit stops and podium celebrations. The catch fence will get in the way of those desiring an unobstructed view aa well as those wanting to take clear pictures or video footage from either of this grandstand. It is also worth noting this is the only grandstand with backrests, all of the others being equipped with aluminium benches.

Grandstand 12 / Privilege 12 and Grandstand 11 probably offer the best views of the circuit. whilst the start and finish can be viewed from a distance, the main attraction is the action at Turns 1 and 2, inclusive of the pit exit. Not all seats at Grandstand 12 can see the start/finish line, however, it is much closer to the TV screen than Grandstand 11 (see top picture). Both Grandstands 12 and 11 are elevated and allow better quality photos and video footage without the inconvenience of the safety fence. These two grandstands are the farthest away from the circuit entrance and it takes about 30 minutes by walk to reach them. Privilege 12 adds shelter, food and refreshments in a hospitality tent equipped with live monitors next to Grandstand 12 on top of a standard grandstand seat.

Grandstands 33 and 31 have limited views but are strategically placed at chicanes that are difficult to negotiate. Expect lots of driver errors, contact with the wall before Grandstand 33 and excursions across the gravel trap in front of Grandstand 31. Only spectators sitting on the top rows of Grandstands 33 will see above the debris fence. This family friendly grandstand also as a dedicated area nearby with services oriented to families. Grandstand 31 is on a platform and is not impeded by the fence.

Grandstands 21, 15, 24 and 34 are all located at the hairpin, where most of the overtaking action takes place.

Grandstand 15 has a broader view of that part of the circuit. Cars can be seen coming from behind Grandstand 34 (from the kink after Turn 9) and disappearing past Turn 11. Those seating in the bottom dozen rows will have their view obstructed by the catch fence.

Grandstands 21 and 24 are right next to the track compared to Grandstands 15 and 34 which have a huge run-off or grass area right in front of them. Both grandstands 21 and 24 are elevated; however, they have a more limited viewing angle. Because of the linear motion of acceleration, it is easier to take pictures of cars coming out of the hairpin rather than braking into Turn 10. Grandstand 21 is probably better suited to that than Grandstand 24. Again, the top rows will enjoy views above the safety fence.

Grandstand 34 is probably better value for money compared to others at the hairpin and does not suffer from the debris fence obstruction.

The Popular Grandstand and temporary Popular Grandstand 2 (depending on the demand) offers limited views with no TV screen but offer an unreserved seat at a very competitive price, being C$100 cheaper than the next price level. They are the only two grandstands for which single day tickets can be purchased for. Occasional overtaking happening there when drivers experience poor traction out of the Turn 10 hairpin. Despite these grandstand being elevated, they are is not ideally placed for taking pictures as the cars zoom past too quickly.


View from Grandstand 24 - Image: McLaren

 

 

5 // TIPS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

As mentioned above, grandstand seating is very much recommended in Montréal. General admission viewing areas are obstructed by trees, separated from the track by high walls and are rather small, overcrowded or both. We would only advise people measuring 6'4 or above (193 cm) to choose general admission over grandstand tickets for comfort reasons. The sharply priced hospitality packages are another alternative if within budget.

Enjoy the unique vibe of fan gatherings can be found in Rue Sainte-Catherine and Rue Crescent from Thursday afternoon until late, located between the Peel and Guy-Concordia Metro stations on the Green Line and the Lucien L'Allier station on the Orange Line.

The weather can be wild and the wind can make it feel deceptively cold, especially in case of rain. Pack sunscreen lotion, sun glasses, a hat, a poncho, waterproof leggings, an umbrella and a plastic bag/cover for your seat. Be also aware the weather can change from 35 C to 10 C overnight.

Cooler bags containing food and alcohol (only mid-strength beer sold at the track) are permitted as long as they fit the following dimensions: 22.8 cm / 9 in height, 45.7 cm /18 in length, 25.4 cm / 10 in depth and do not contain any glass. Folding chairs are only allowed for general admission but other camping material will not get passed security. Padded or stadium seats are strongly recommended as the aluminium benches can become uncomfortable over a long period of time.

Live on-track commentary will be available on 99.1 FM and 104.5 FM. You no longer need earplugs or a set of canalphones as noise from the cars is now far from excessive.

Keep up to date on Twitter by following the #GPCanada hashtag as well as @thebuxtonblog (Will Buxton / NBC F1 pit reporter) who usually organises a tweet up at Hurleys Irish Pub on Friday night.


Pit lane exit and Elite restaurant - Image: Ferrari S.p.A

 

 

6 // USEFUL LINKS TO PREPARE YOUR MONTREAL TRIP

www.circuitgillesvilleneuve.ca - event information, schedule and ticket sales in CAD from the promoter
www.bookF1.com - our GBP/USD/EUR/AUD/CAD ticketing partner
www.GPTicketshop.com - our other EUR ticketing partner

Booking.com - our trustworthy hotel reservation partner

www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/ - visa and eTA information

747 Bus Line Service - Airport transfer
www.stm.info/en - Public transport information, maps and fares

www.bell.ca - Mobile and data services
www.telus.com - Mobile and data services

formula1.com - General Information and schedule from Formula1.com

 

 

Finally, we would like to thank the following spectators for their reviews and contribution:

Fake Charlie Whiting (follow @charlie_whiting on Twitter - Grandstand 11)
Munaf von Rudloff (follow @tyresmokeF1 on Twitter - Grandstand 34)
Alex Snell (follow @alexjsnell on Twitter - Grandstand 12)
Andrew Mueller (General Admission)
Kayleigh (follow @kayels on Twitter - Grandstand 24)
Shirleen Riffe (follow @shirleenriffe on Twitter - Grandstand 1)

 

Have you been to the Canadian Grand Prix? You can help us to improve this guide by leaving your impression of this event in the 'Write a Review' section of this website.

If you would like to add further information or correct any of the above article, please leave your comments below.

Canadian Grand Prix spectator guide
 

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