For three days, Montréal is decked out in the colours of the most celebrated F1 teams as enthusiastic crowds from across the globe cheer on the greatest drivers in the world.
[Updated on May 20, 2016]
With hundreds of thousands of elite racing fans about to converge on Montréal’s fast-approaching Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada, many of them jockeying for the best possible position to have the best possible time, we thought we’d give you a bit of a head start. Consider this your Grand Prix Survival Guide.
EVENT Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada, June 10-12, 2016
LOCATION Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve at Parc Jean-Drapeau with more events downtown
CIRCUIT MAP: Shows locations of restaurants, wheelchair platforms, pedestrian walkways and giant TV screens, among many other useful locations. Click here.
HOW TO GET THERE Since on-site parking is extremely limited, take the metro to Parc Jean-Drapeau station on the yellow line, a few minutes from downtown’s Berri-UQAM station – from there, take a bus or walk across the Concorde Bridge for grandstands 1, 2, 11, 12 and 31 or the Cosmos Bridge for grandstands 21, 15, 24, 33, 34 and the Popular Grandstand. Or bike along the Lachine Canal bike path from Old Montréal and across the Concorde Bridge.
WHAT TO BRING Binoculars, camera, earplugs, portable radio to listen to Radio Grand Prix 99.1 FM or 104.5 FM, small cooler that can fit under your seat
WHAT NOT TO BRING Chairs or stools, glass containers, barbecues, expectations for a quiet afternoon in the park
WHAT TO WEAR Sunscreen and a brimmed hat are a necessity, comfortable walking shoes for getting to the grandstands, layers in case of cold or rainy weather, fashionable party-ready clothes for night festivities
History: 47th edition of the race in Canada, 37th in Montréal
Number of laps: 70
Circuit Length: 4.361 km
Race Distance: 305.270 km
Current top 5 in championship standings : Kimi Räikkönen (Finland, Ferrari), Nico Rosberg (Germany, Mercedes), Lewis Hamilton (UK, Mercedes team), Daniel Ricciardo (Australia, Redbull Racing), Sebastian Vettel (Germany, Ferrari)
Food Find food and drink vendors by all grandstands as well as two restaurants near the start line. Fans can also visit the Montréal Casino within the circuit for food, drink, entertainment and, of course, games of skill and chance.
Bathrooms Various locations throughout the venue
Souvenirs Bring home even more than extraordinary photos and memories of Grand Prix: drop by the F1 Boutique to find jackets, racing shirts, accessories and more created specifically for this year’s race.
Family time The Grand Prix is remarkably family friendly – and free for children under 15 years old, when accompanied by a parent or a grandparent to Grandstand 33, located near turns 6 and 7, with shady areas, and entertainment and food for kids. Take a walk through Parc Jean-Drapeau and visit the Biosphere museum, the outdoor pool or La Ronde amusement park.
Food and Drink Keep your energy up all weekend by eating well and quenching your thirst at some of Montreal’s most renowned restaurants, bars and food trucks. Have drinks on an Old Montréal terrasse before making your way along the cobblestone streets to dinner. Or go to the Plateau, Mile End, Griffintown and St-Henri, followed by gourmet ice cream. Stay up late at the city’s night life hot spots drinking special Grand Prix cocktails and rubbing shoulders with celebrities as you dance your way to last call. And don’t forget about the healing power of brunch.
Daytime at the Crescent Street Festival or along St-Laurent Boulevard is kid friendly, while parks provide picnic opportunities and a visit to the Science Centre or biking or kayaking the Lachine Canal gives kids more play time.
Entertainment The free Crescent Street Grand Prix Festival hosts driver appearances and autograph signings, race car displays and racing simulators, live music and DJs, giveaways, fashion shows and more to go along with the street’s already abundant restaurants and nightlife, June 4-11. Walk over to the F1 Old Montréal Grand Prix celebrations or to the Mural Festival, June 9-19 on St-Laurent Boulevard, closed to traffic for the weekend.