The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a motor racing circuit, venue for the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix, NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.The Canadian Grand Prix that took place for 30 years at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was dropped from the 2009 Formula One calendar and replaced with the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. On November 27, 2009, Quebec
's officials and Canadian Grand Prix organisers announced a settlement with Formula One Administration and signed a new five-year contract spanning the 2010–2014 seasons.
The circuit, at Parc Jean-Drapeau
on Île Notre-Dame, a man-made island in the St. Lawrence River that is part of the city of Montreal
, was originally named the Île Notre-Dame Circuit. It was renamed in honour of Canadian Formula One driver Gilles Villeneuve, father of Jacques Villeneuve, following his death in 1982. The venue hosted the Champ Car World
Series Grand Prix of Montreal from 2002 to 2006.
Barriers run close to the circuit and many experienced drivers have been caught out by them. A particularly famous part of the circuit is the wall on the outside of the exit of the final chicane before the start/finish straight. In 1999 the wall, which bears the name Bienvenue au Québec ("Welcome to Quebec") giving it the nickname,Quebec Wall , ended the race of three Formula One World Champions, Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve along with FIA GT champion Ricardo Zonta.
The NASCAR races have affected the circuit layout. An expansion of the pit lane took place, since a NASCAR pit lane must accommodate a minimum of 43 cars.As part of Parc Jean-Drapeau, the Circuit is open to visitors, between races, for walking, running, biking, in-line skating, and of course, driving.During the few days of the Grand Prix, Île Notre-Dame is one of the noisiest places in Montreal.