Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has always been a special place for Lewis. On his first visit 10 years ago, he claimed his very first F1 pole and victory. And since then, has stepped on the top step of the podium four more times.
“You definitely feel the energy”
“Having the amazing experience I had in 2007; I remember standing on the podium and looking down at my dad and just seeing the biggest smile I’d ever seen in my life on his face, which was a very proud moment,” remembered Lewis today of his first win.
“And then, since then, just every year I come, I’ve just grown a lot with Canada and with Montreal. You definitely feel the energy: the weather is generally really good; the circuit’s unique; and the city’s one of the greatest cities. There’s a huge buzz.”
Part of the weekend’s buzz is down to the layout of the circuit on the Ile Notre Dame, with an unusual configuration that encourages drivers to attack – and almost always delivers great racing.
“Once you get to the corners, it’s a bit like a go-kart track”
“Once you get to the corners, it’s a bit like a go-kart track, and long straights added to that, so it creates lots of opportunities for overtaking,” explained Lewis.
“You can follow here a little bit better than perhaps at other circuits, it’s a lot more of a mechanical, technical circuit, and it suits an aggressive driving style I guess. So all of that means you have to be generally more aggressive than we can be at other circuits.”
This weekend also marks the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Grand Prix – a special milestone at a special circuit.
“Formula One is obviously made up of a lot of great countries, a lot of great races, but there are the exceptional races and there’s only a few of them,” concluded Lewis. “This race is in that few.”