2011 Canadian Grand Prix discussion

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This area is for people who are attending or planning to attend the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal.

Use the comments below to share your thoughts on the race, where on the track you intend to watch from, how you’ll get to the track and more.

Taken any pictures or video at the race?

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2011 Canadian Grand Prix

87 comments on “2011 Canadian Grand Prix discussion”

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  1. Going! Booked tickets and a place to stay for 2011 already.

    Cant wait! This year’s race was epic!

  2. I wanted to go this past year but my lord, its expensive !! No wonder they can’t sell out at most venues. Good thing I didn’t tho becuz I would have been miserable watching Alonso lose due to the backmarkers. Better luck in 2011. Anyone have suggestions on making the trip and where to sit, eat, etc. etc. ?

  3. I’m going in 2011 & wondered if anyone has hotel recommendations? I have found a few with vacancies but just as I think it looks ok I find several questionable reviews.

    Also is the track easy to access by public transport?

    @Nesto I’m going to be at the hairpin, I think thats where anyone I’ve spoken to about it recommends :) There is a general admission bit there as well as grandstands.

    1. We stayed at Suite Labelle and it’s pretty good. Average American breakfast included, a minute from the metro and the track is only one stop away. Also – very close to the downtown, about 20 minutes of walk.

      We’re be at sector grandstand 24 sector 4. Grandstand 15 is too far away from the track. They moved it after 07’s Kubica krash.

      Enjoy your stay.:)

  4. I’m *hoping* to go in 2011, and I’m also wondering whether anyone has hotel recommendations. Don’t suppose there’s anything both cheap AND close to the circuit? ;-)

  5. Ian Jolicoeur
    28th November 2010, 6:15

    Hey fellas, been reading this forum for a while, but this is my first post.

    You’ll find that the hotels are insanely expensive, and all the rates have been jacked up. I stayed at the Holiday Inn Midtown last year and it was awesome, but I booked it the day I found out when the GP would be, so I save like 600 bucks before they jacked up the rates…

    I think your best bet would be to stay in the vacant university residences which are situated downtown, and close to the fun! Bar scene…

    Anyways, yes, the track was super easy to get to, just one train, and then a change over to another, and your there, honestly, less than 10 minutes total!

    Have a great time, I know I did… Sat at turn 1, amazing seats for Grandstand 12…

    Go Hamilton!!!!

    Have fun guys,


  6. Hey,

    Just some things I learned last year, in case anyone was curious…

    The track is very easy to access by public transport. As a matter of fact, the subway is just about the only practical way to get onto the island. There is a stop about 1KM from the track. Once you get off, just follow the crowds (there will be a sea of people).

    In terms of where to sit, I personally sat in Grandstand 11 last year. Pretty good view, but I am trying Grandstand 12 this year for something different. I thinke anything around Virage Senna is supposed to be good.

    You don’t really have a choice of where to sit within the stands. The promoters just assign you a seat. The seats are just bleachers and are super uncomfortable and cramped, and there is no shade. Kinda like watching a minor league baseball game..You probably already knew this, but I wished someone had warned me last year…

    What else? You can bring your own booze if you want, but it is pretty hard to stash it anywhwere. Personally, I won’t bother.

    Also, in terms of places to stay, check a few websites for short term appartment rentals, too. My wife and I got a great deal on a really nice place that was a fraction of the ripoff hotel rates. Flipkey is a good place to start searching.

    Enjoy!See you there!

  7. My son and I attended Montreal this year and what an amazing time we had… we were there from Thursday so not only did we get the full race weekend but were able to see lot’s of that great city..:) The travel to the venue was simple as our seedy little hotel was one block away from the underground Metro which after one change took us directly to the front gates of the track.. :)
    Line ups were acceptable for this scale of event and it seemed that even though Montreal had a year off they still know how to throw a party!!

    The Thursday pit walk was a bit damp but nothing was soaking my spirits for my first GP… the excitement of seeing the garages close up was amazing… the capper was a mechanic from Lotus came and took my camera into the pit and got some great shots for me! very different from other garages where they wouldn’t let you see part of the cars.. lol…

    Friday was awesome having the freedom to watch from other grandstands as we moved around the track… our seats were at Senna corner in GS11 but my favorite spot was GS21 right at the breaking zone for Epingle… it was amazing watching the cars accelerate out of turn 9, brake for the hairpin and accelerate on there way down Droit Du Casino… that was where the RBR’s really shone… exiting that hairpin was truly crazy just how fast they were… :)

    Saturday we packed a lunch and a 6 pack of beer in our backpacks.. (as per everyday..:) and headed to our seats… Quali was awesome because you could really see that the cars and drivers were getting to grips with the track… the speeds were dropping and the excitement was building! Watching Lewis pushing his car down the back straight on the big screen was a sight to behold.. never seen that before… lol

    Did I mention that the City of Montreal really knows how to throw a party!! There was huge sections of downtown blocked off with stages scattered all over the area… Franco Bars every 40 feet so there was NO excuse to have an empty beer… every kind of music you could imagine playing all around you.. and great people that were more than willing to help out some “out of towners” with directions to the hottest clubs… but the atmosphere on the streets was where the real action was… we partied until 4am every morning then were up at 8 on our way to the track… the perfect schedule… 8)

    Race day was almost too much to take for me… being my first GP I was asked a few times to settle down by the people behind me as I was jumping around like a school boy! The race was spectacular and the perfect weather so all was awesome!! as the last laps wound down we found a spot to crawl over the fence so we were ready… as the cars passed the start/finish line we bolted for the fence..
    climbing the grandstand and hopping the fence… then sprinting towards the podium… obviously my son had an easier time of this but I kept up with him… :) We got there just as Lewis, Fernando and Felipe made it to the stage… what a moment!! We soaked in the atmosphere in all it’s glory… when that was said and done we walked back to Senna corner looking for scraps.. I managed to find a piece of kevlar and many marbles as trophies… We carried on walking the pit wall watching the crews start packing up when we noticed a group of people in front of the Mercedes pit… there was Jock Clear having a Q&A session with the fans… the best question being about Micheal’s driving during the race.. lol

    So we made out way back to downtown and enjoyed one more night in Montreal before flying home Monday… the fact that we have to fly to our home race got me thinking that since we have to fly to Montreal, we might as well start flying around the world to watch GP’s… so that’s our plan for next year.. :)

    I had a thrilling trip for my first GP and look forward to seeing not only Montreal again but other sites around the world…

    Cheers… 8)

  8. Not suggesting anybody does the same as me, because I could be making a mistake, but unlike past years I am leaving my hotel arrangements until nearer race time.
    Reason being I have noticed that unlike before I am seeing plenty of hotel availability, whether downtown, old Montreal, or further out. In addition, there are many hotels offering rates hundreds $CAD lower now than when FIA calendar was announced.
    Obviously the usual favourites sold out straight away with repeat bookings, but to me it seems a lot of the other chain hotels were overly optimistic ( ie greedy ) by increasing their rates by CAD$150 per night compared to 2010.
    In addition, every year I note, there seems to be a sweetspot when many reservations are cancelled when payment is requested by the hotel for advance bookings.
    If you are lucky enough to bag what you want the savings are very worthwhile. So I am going to take a chance and keep an eye on things until April at the latest and jump on any good offers available.
    Whether its the economy or just the higher race ticket prices, higher hotel rates or a combination of all three, but I feel hotel bookings are slower this year.

  9. I got my tickets for the race this year back in November! Unlike last year (which was my first GP), I got proper grandstand seats this time at GS24! It’s an early birthday present for my dad so I figured I should put in the extra bucks to get a proper view. :)

    Hotels are no issue for me as I live only 15mins from the track, but can I say for all of my years living in this city, the Grand Prix weekend are my favourite days of the year! Even beats St-Jean-Baptiste weekend!

  10. Now that I have my hotel reserved the question of seating has really begun and presently I’m having a debate with the ticketer about which would be a better seat.

    The choice is between grandstands 11 and 12, both of which sit on the outside of Senna Curve (turn 1).
    Map Link:http://www.circuitgillesvilleneuve.ca/DATA/TEXTE/Circuit_2010_F1_en.pdf

    I would prefer to sit where I can see all of Senna and then have some sort of view back north along the pit straight. It seems to me that somewhere in stand 11 high enough up you’d have a decent look back up the front straight, but I can’t remember if there is a screen or tent on the inside of turn 1/2 there. The ticketer insists there usually is and thus the superior seat with a few towards the pit is on the side of stand 12.

    Opinions? Thoughts? Memories? I’ve sat in the hairpin (long ago) and last year on start-finish. The first corner just seems like the obvious place to watch from next.

    1. ” I would prefer to sit where I can see all of Senna and then have some sort of view back north along the pit straight. It seems to me that somewhere in stand 11 high enough up you’d have a decent look back up the front straight, but I can’t remember if there is a screen or tent on the inside of turn 1/2 there. The ticketer insists there usually is and thus the superior seat with a few towards the pit is on the side of stand 12 ”

      Either Tribune 11 or 12 will definitely let you see all of Senna. If you want to see up the pit straight towards the start/ finish and beyond right the way to champions wall then you need to be able to look past the trees.
      In Tribune 11 this means booking a seat in sections 1 through 4, the nearest you are to the far left of 1 as you look at the stand from the track – the better angle up the straight for taking pictures with a long lens.
      You don’t necessarily have to be high up in the stand – there are no tents etc to block your view – just the trees.
      In Tribune 12, you need to be in sections towards the right hand side as you look at the stand from the track ie. 4 and beyond.
      The problem with sitting in the sections 1, 2, etc are the large covered grandstands blocking your view of the start / finish straight.
      If you are high enough in Tribune 12 and over to the right hand side you will see up the straight.
      Remember that at Montreal, unlike most circuits the ground level seat rows begin AA with the highest seat rows being A upwards, not the other way around.

  11. ClevelandSteamer (@)
    22nd January 2011, 11:07

    new to the forums and F1 … I attended Monza last year while on a “business” trip and am now addicted.

    anyways…i am looking for the best source for grandstand tickets. Do you buy them thru F1.com, thru circuitgillesvilleneuve.ca ???

    Myself and a few friends want to goto sunday race and spend friday and sat nite drinking and eating well.

    1. It always works out cheapest and best in my opinion to book through the circuit website or contact the circuit directly by phone.

  12. Hello all,

    I am considering making myfirst visit to the Canadian Grand Prix in 2011 and thought I should get my skates on!

    Can anyone recommend reputable sites for packages, (flights from UK, Hotel & 3-day passes).
    Probably these will be more expensive that doing it myself so recomendations for places to stay (metro is good it seems so downtown is fine so I can explore thie city) and best route to by tickets from the UK.

    All recomendations appreciated.

  13. ClevelandSteamer
    2nd February 2011, 18:47

    I am looking into tickets for upcoming race and it appears that you have to purchase an entire weekend pass. Is it possible to get a grandstand ticket for the Sunday race and not all the qualifying stuff? I really want to spend some time eating and drinking in this city that I have been wanting to visit for many years. My god the tix are expensive for the entire weekend. Also, I know that general admission sucks here so that is not an option. I also dont really want to wait until I am in the city and buy from a scalper. I will be shelling out some big $$$ on a plane ticket and lodging and want to get my tickets well in advance if possible.

  14. First Time at Canada G.P. Hi everybody. Im going to the race with my son this year. His first time at a grand prix. I would like for someone that has been there before recommend the best possible seats to see the cars going up through the gears. So my son can see just how loud and, quick they are. Not just the straight. But a place to get the best view of all the exciting parts of an F-1 race. Thank you, Dave

    1. The hairpin is your best bet, as you see them accelerate out onto Casino Straight. The noise is epic! GS 24 (the one I’ve booked) or 15 will be your stands of choice as you can see the cars decelerate, overtake, and accelerate fairly rapidly. Best bit of the track IMO!

    2. The grandstand just after the second corner (right hander) is pretty good as the cars accelerate away after the slow corner. Plus the sunshine, which can be hot and bright is behind you.
      The grandstand after the bottom hairpin is the other spot to get the cars pulling away towards the long straight and the start line. I sat there and watched Kubica have his big accident.
      Montreal just buzzes. My favourite foreign race.

  15. Cleveland – to get a race only seat off ebay will cost almost as much as a weekend. My advice is to by the w/e pass and then try to sell you friday prac and saturdday qualy to offset. the saturday is probably my fav day as its all party and qualifying is exciting.

    David Lewis – I have been at the last 6gp’s and have been exclusively at grandstand 31 which is the right left turn before the hairpin. You get some good audio of the downshifting and upshifting. to see how fast these things go then its a short walk to see the general admission area where the aforementioned straight is.

    My question is what are people’s thoughts on grandstand 33?

    1. I know a few people like that stand as you get a nice full view of the cars without them going to quickly as they go through that chicane. The only issue is that it’s fairly isolated in the park and it’s a trek to get to from the track entrance. That said, a lot of people say the best car photo opportunities are from that stand so ymmv.

    2. I watched from 33 in 2006 which was my first time at the circuit. Villeneuve put it in the wall just out of sight. There is a big screen but I don’t like the stand much. You only see the cars for a short time. I would recomend one of the stands around the hairpin or stand 11 or 12 around the first turns. I know they are twice the price but they are ten times better viewing

  16. I sit in GS 11, section 4. From 2010 here is a video of the standing start I took: http://bit.ly/gkxubO and a video of the end of the 1st complete lap: http://bit.ly/ewrBTB . Here is a set of photos I took: http://bit.ly/gtNxUC . The metro is perfect to get onto the island – $15 for a 3 day pass.

    1. I have sec 11, sec 4 -GG seat 8-10. Are my seats close to your old ones?

  17. went last year…. still haven’t planned this year

  18. I’m going this year!! I’ve been watching F1 for over 20 years, and this will finally be the first race I’ll see live! I can’t wait!

    I’ve been thinking of sitting in front of the pitstops, so I can follow the action of the tire changes as well as all the things that happen with the team.. what do you guys think? Is the view from there good??

    1. I have sat in most stands. I watched a Nascar race from this stand. I don’t really like sitting on straights as you don’t see much of what is going on. I guess with the Pirellis you might get to see more of the cars in the pits than on the track in Montreal this year. I recomend you avoid the front rows as the fence obstructs your view.

  19. I think the view of the pits from there could be great, they are right accross from the pit lane.

    Personally, I have always preferred a corner as I sometimes find watching really fast cars on a straight somewhat… disorienting. They go by so quickly that its hard to even tell which one is which sometimes… all you see is a flash of multicoloured light and *reear!!*wroom!*reaaaaaaaar!*…. and like 10 cars go by, but in which order?

    I dont know iof there is a bad place to sit at the whole circuit though, really. And, if you feel the seats you chose were a bit limited, you can always walk around the circuit and have a look from different angles, especially on Friday and Saturday.

    Have a blast, dude!

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