Canadian Grand Prix 14th -16th July 1996 The 1996 Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, ...
Canadian Grand Prix 14th -16th July 1996 The 1996 Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, marks the exact halfway point in this year's Formula One World Championship. The season so far has been one of the most exciting in recent years, and Marlboro McLaren Mercedes will come to the capital city of Quebec with the firm intention of returning to the form the team enjoyed in the three races before Spain.
The circuit, which is situated on the Ile Notre-Dame, on the St Lawrence river, has hosted the Grand Prix since 1978. That year, the Canadian public celebrated the first victory of their local hero Gilles Villeneuve. The venue, then called Circuit Ile Notre Dame, became the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 1982 following the French Canadian's fatal accident in Belgium. 14 years later, a record attendance is expected as his son Jacques lines up for his first Canadian Grand Prix.
The pitstop strategy will be a major issue for all the teams in Montreal. The 4.4.km-long circuit features five tight chicanes - one less than last year - which require rapid acceleration between them and cause a high fuel consumption. At the same time, they make overtaking difficult and the number of refuelling stops has to be limited in order to maintain a position at the front of the running.
Although a popular event, the Canadian Grand Prix has never been to kind to Marlboro McLaren Mercedes drivers David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen, and both will be determined to improve their track record. David retired from last year's event, having finished fifth in 1994, whilst Mika has yet to score points on this ciruit.
The Marlboro McLaren Mercedes team spent the last few days testing in Barcelona, with David successfully covering a race distance with a Canadian Grand Prix specification engine.