The 2022 F1 season will see the return of Canadian Grand Prix on 19th June, and attention now shifts to Montreal and it’s “Wall of Champions”, we take a look at the legacy of the wall, notorious accidents, victims, and other details
For the first time in three years, the F1 paddock will travel 5,500 kilometres from Baku to Montreal, after the Canadian race was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 because to the COVID-19 epidemic. It’s a relative unknown for F1’s return to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, which is expected to draw a large audience, similar to the Australian Grand Prix earlier this season.
Canadian Grand Prix Wall Of Champions Meaning Explained And Crash Victims Whose Names Are There On It
“Wall of Champions” Naming Reason and Infamous Race of 1999
Alexander Wurz in a Benetton was the first F1 driver to crash into the Wall of Champions in 1997, with local favourite Jacques Villeneuve following suit on the first lap of the race.
In 1999, the Wall of Champions gained notoriety when three world champions fell out in separate events over the course of 20 laps. On Lap 14, 1996 champion Damon Hill took the lead, with old rival Michael Schumacher following on Lap 30, from the lead no less, in a rare Ferrari mistake. When the BAR crunched against the concrete on Lap 34, Villeneuve, the son of Gilles, completed the trifecta.
Mika Hakkinen, the other world champion, was the only one in the race who did not slam into the wall, winning the race. The Wall of Champions was named after three of the four active world champions who found their way into the concrete. At some point during their careers, five world champions have hit the Wall of Champions. Jenson Button crashed out of the 2005 race, four years before he won the championship with Brawn. Only one reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel in 2011, has ever crashed into the wall.
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It’s a course that puts the drivers’ precision to the test, with lots of time to be gained by carrying speed through the chicanes and onto the straights, but with the track edge largely delineated by concrete walls where mistakes are penalized on a regular basis.
For F1 drivers, a chicane is usually an easy assignment that they have done thousands of times on their way up from the junior levels to F1. However, there is one chicane on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal that has ruined race moments of more than its fair share of drivers, including several champions.
The Wall of Champions lies on the outside of the last corner, Turn 14, where drivers frequently knock the kerbs and end up in the wall. One year in particular is known for cars crashing into it, with three world champions doing so during the race, earning the concrete the moniker “Wall of Champions.”
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