In 1978 the Grand Prix of Canada came to Montreal, where it was run on a man-made island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, the site of the 1967 Expo and the 1976 Summer Olympic Games.
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In 1982 the circuit was renamed in honour of Gilles Villeneuve, the very popular Canadian driver, who died during practice for the Belgium GP that year and who had won the first F1 race held on the Isle Notre Dame circuit in 1978. Because of its excellent infrastructure, it is a popular event on the Formula One calendar.
It is a mix of slow and rapid corners with a very long straight which demands a lot of the engines. However, its layout is popular with drivers because it is one of the few GP tracks where overtaking is possible, and the annual stopover in Canada remains one of the most popular with the F1 circus. The track has been modified a several times in the past, involving minor re-profiling of some corners on safety grounds.