Going to the Canadian Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

Going to the 2012 Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

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    Better or worse is a subjective thing because you might prefer to sit high up to get more of a bird’s eye view of the action and not “as” noisy. For others, they want to be as close to the track as possible to “feel” the sound vibrate through their bodies.

    It’s my first GP too, so it’s all a guess, but I did a lot of research for my section (Senna Curve) and sharing my discovery with Jenny and the forum (she seemed like she wanted to be close to the track, and in fact, she wouldn’t be). Lucky I researched too, because at Senna Curve, I wanted to see the Start, and also see the cars battle for position at turn 1 and 2. Previous years, there’s always action here! See and hear the braking, turning, and acceleration to a short straight. Well, if I didn’t research, there’s some trees in some sections that block the view of start/finish line and further away from the turns, so those folks in those seats would end up seeing pretty much the cars accelerating toward them a bit and not see the start/finish.

    Another thing to consider is that if you sit too close, say, first 5 rows (I don’t know), you’re below the fence in most sections I think, so your view is somewhat obstructed I’m told.

    You know what though, I think as first GP, no matter what, it’s going to be a BLAST!!!


    hm, i just thought of another tip, but i’ll post in the seating section.


    I agree. It’s going to be amazing. And as a newbie I’ll discover what I do and don’t like, and hopefully take it forward for other races. I tend to go to Montreal every year for one reason or another, so maybe the GP will end up being an annual event for me.


    Thanks MRPiGoiL for the info you provided on the grandstand seating, much appreciated! I’m really happy with the seats, I wouldn’t want to be too low as the fence will obstruct the view and any pictures that we take.

    F1antics, you will have an amazing time! Nothing beats seeing a GP live from the circuit, the atmosphere will be electric and seeing/hearing an F1 is one of the best experiences you will have. I find it a bit difficult at times to follow what is going on during the race when I am there compared to watching it on the TV, especially when the cars start to lap each other and the teams change strategy. There should be English commentary at the circuit, but you can’t really hear as the cars are so loud!

    Does anyone know if there are any food/drink/toilet facilities near the grandstand? The track guide on the official website isn’t that great although l am sure everything will be laid out in the official programme.

    I wonder if there will be anything going on in Montreal to mark the GP being on? I’ve ‘liked’ the Montreal tourist page on FB to see if there is anything official going on. I will let everyone know if something interesting pops up. There is a theme park called La Ronde which is next to the circuit and is supposed to be quite good, so I might go there at some point over the weekend! Any restaurant / tourist recommendations will be great too!

    Edgar Madrid

    Hi Everyone.

    It looks like GS34 is now sold out and kicking my self in the butt for not buying sooner! if i knew they were going to sell out first, I would have bought it at my last pay check, but alas, I can’t do anything now.

    This would be my first GP ever so great seats next to the action would be most greatful.

    The current available GrandStand’s are.


    Can someone give a break down of each GS with positives and negatives.

    THanks again!


    Hi Edgar,

    Great to hear that you are coming to the GP too! It’s going to be amazing!

    There is a good thread on where to sit at the circuit on the forum here: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/groups/going-to-the-canadian-grand-prix-at-circuit-gilles-villeneuve/forum/topic/where-to-sit-and-where-to-watch-at-circuit-gilles-villeneuve/

    I was looking at GS22 but decided that all you would see is the cars accelerating past you from the hairpin. We wanted to see the cars breaking for a corner so we are in GS 33. This is where Vettel lost the lead to Button in the last lap of the 2011 race!

    You should look at You Tube and type in the grandstand number in the search field, that will probably help you decide. GS 31 looks very good and there is a long sweeping corner so you will see more of the cars rather than them whizzing past you. It’s quite a personal choice, but l hope this helps?

    Let us know which one you pick!

    Edgar Madrid

    Hey Everyone,

    Just wanted to give you guys an update. I was able to get tickets to sold out GrandStand 34. I wanted two seats next to each other but they only had two seats vertical of each other.

    Section33 ?
    Row RR & SS
    Seat 15

    I would probably want to trade my Friday and possibly Saturday ticket for a different GrandStand… Looking to trade both seats, not just one.

    I know it might be early but If anyone is interested, please feel free to email me: integlspwr@gmail.com.

    Thanks again & can’t wait for this would be my first F1 race and im sure it wont be my last. =)


    I was able to attend the 2010 Canadian GP. I sat in the hairpin, grandstand 24 section 9 and it was quite a sight seeing those cars brake from 300km/h!

    And boy the rush at the beginning of the race… I could hear the cars start but wow, to hear those cars screaming down the back straight on the first lap, then a symphony of downshifting… just unreal!

    If I were to do it again though, I would sit in grandstand 21, still on the hairpin (the other side), but closer to the park entrance. It’s the one directly in front of the northern entrance as you walk in. During race day & quali, from that point, it took me 45 mins to walk around the hairpin to grandstand 24! That’s precious time I could have spent walking to the Budweiser girls or better yet… drinking beer!

    Anyway, to anyone going to the Canadian GP, you will love it. The fans, the cars, the vintage cars, it’s all worth it. Loved it.


    For those that have been before, what’s worth seeing or doing at the circuit, in addition to the racing (bearing in mind I haven’t been to a GP before)?
    Is it worth wandering around, to pick up freebies or buy souvenirs, or is it generally a rip-off?
    What happens when the race ends, if you’re not anywhere near the podium? Do most fans start leaving, or are there opportunities to get onto the track or watch the teams pack up and leave?
    If there’s entertainment, where does it normally happen?
    I’m going to be around from at least the 5th June, possibly earlier – any idea when the excitement starts building up, and where it’s worth hanging out to make the most of being there?
    I’ve trawled around forums from previous Montreal GPs but the majority of posts are about where to sit, not what to do.


    Hi guys,

    As a long time Montreal resident I want to throw in some personal advice, especially about accommodations. I would certainly recommend staying away from big hotels. These days you can rent an apartment in one of Montreal’s lovely residential areas for the same or less money than a hotel room and you’ll have a fully functional flat in a neighbourhood that’ll let you breathe in the city’s real atmosphere, rather than a tourist trap area. Check out sites like Homelidays, for example, where you can find flats for 200eur per week, though it’ll likely be more for the GP weekend. In fact, my former flat is these days being rented out for short stays http://www.homelidays.co.uk/montreal/apartment-flat-405822en1.htm (I’m not that crazy about what the owner has done with the deco, but it’s still comfy and in a chill spot). If you opt for something like this, I’ll be happy to offer advice on where to go and how to get there. Chill neighbourhoods with easy public transport to the track include: Plateau Mont-Royal, Outremont, Villeray, Westmount, and parts of Rosemont and NDG.

    I’m afraid that I don’t have much advice on hotels, but I would avoid places that are off Montreal island – they will be cheaper, but the surroundings won’t be very interesting. If that’s where you’ll be, however, try to make sure you’re close to the metro or know how to get to it so you can get to the track and downtown easily.

    @f1antics as far as where the excitement begins to build up in the days leading up to the race, check out Crescent St downtown – not my scene personally (bars and nightclubs), but the street shuts down to traffic for the whole week prior to the race and that’s where the promo events take place.


    Thanks Maciek, and thank you for the accommodation suggestions.

    I made a few online enquiries about apartments a couple of months back. The replies showed that they were adding quite a lot onto the normal advertised prices, and that it wasn’t quite the bargain I’d hoped for. One very kind owner replied and said it would be better to ask nearer the time, because they’ll have a better idea of price/availability then (I guess because they may have long-term tenants to fit around). So I’ve made a cancellable hotel suite booking and will see what the situation is like in a couple of months.


    I live in the UK and I have just decided to come over to Montreal for 2012. As suggested I have done some youtube views of stands and I’m undecided between Silver 21 and 24. I’m siding towards 24 as it looks higher…..I have started looking at doing tickets on the official website and looks like row UU is being offered….can anyone offer advice if this is quite high up and whether they would recommend silver 24 over 21 ?


    Hi Captain. Both those stands are good. This year will be my fifth in 21 but I have watched a Champ Car race from 24 back in the day. I don’t know how high UU is but the view from high up can be better in my opinion. For non F1 sessions you can probably just go and sit in the front row anyway.
    A good thing about the hairpin is that the support series have their pits behind Grandstand 15 so you can go for a wander and get some good photos of historic F1 cars, Ferraris etc in your lunch break.
    The advantage of 21 over 24 is that it is closer to the exit which can make a big difference after the race when five or six grandstands worth of people try and squeeze out over the bridge.


    This year will be my 3rd year in a row at the MontrĂ©al GP, and I’m as excited as ever! My seats are at GS24 row DD (same for all 3 years) and it’s simply the best spot. The crowd is the greatest, great view of the action, and right near the bathrooms that are actually quite clean (as a native Montrealer, I’m always wary of our public facilities…) Depending on the stewards that are monitoring the hairpin, at the end of the race they may even open up the fences to let everyone onto the tarmac to run down Casino straight to the paddock.
    While I’d love to make it to a European GP one of these days, my home race is most certainly my favourite. :)


    Hi everyone.
    This is going to be my first ever GP. Im very excited, I managed to snag stands 24, section 1, row dd. I am a little concerned as some people have mentioned that fences obstruct the view when in the lower rows. Dutchess, is this an issue?
    Also I was wondering if I wanted to see cars driving on other parts of the track can I walk around the entire GA area and take pictures from different spots on a Friday practice.

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