Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

This weekend the Formula 1 circus heads to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal for the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix, and coming as no surprise the odds are already favoring Red Bull Racing champ Sebastian Vettel to take the checkered flag at the conclusion of Sunday’s race.

The race is the only North American leg on the F1 calendar, though it may not be that way for long, and despite Vettel being the favorite, the Canadian Grand Prix holds a special place in the heart of McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton has managed to win two of the last three races held at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and has been on pole for all three of those. It’s also the place where Hamilton earned his first pole position and victory in F1 during his debut year back in 2007.

The track itself lies on a man-made island in the St. Lawrence River and was named after Canadian F1 driver Gilles Villeneuve, father of Jacques Villeneuve, following his death in 1982. It stretches some 2.71 miles in length and is notorious for its close barriers, which can often upset even the most experienced of drivers.

Going into Sunday’s race, Sebastian Vettel will be keen to extend his lead and make it six victories from seven starts. He leads the Drivers’ Championship points table with 143 points followed by Lewis Hamilton on 85 points and Mark Webber close behind on 79 points.

Not surprisingly, Red Bull Racing is the clear leader in the Constructors’ Championship, with 222 points, followed by McLaren on 161 points and Ferrari on 93 points.

Stay tuned for our full coverage of the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix this weekend.