Memorable McLaren Moments :: Canada
The Canadian Grand Prix will run for the 44th time this year, and we’re proud to say we’ve won over a quarter of all races held in the country to date.
In all, three tracks have hosted the race over the years – Mosport Park in Ontario, Circuit Mont Tremblant in Quebec and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, which is also in Quebec.
Mont Tremblant was the venue for our first Canadian Grand Prix victory, when Denny Hulme led Bruce McLaren home in 1968 for the team’s first-ever one-two and third-ever Formula 1 win.
In 1972, we scored a double podium finish at Mosport Park with Peter Revson in second and Denny Hulme in third.
Revson would go one better in 1973, taking his second and final Formula 1 victory after a safety car period following a crash between Francois Cevert and Jody Scheckter on lap 33.
Emerson Fittipaldi ensured the team became a three-time Canadian Grand Prix winner in 1974, taking his third victory of the season on his way to securing his second drivers’ championship crown.
James Hunt emulated Fittipaldi’s success by winning the race from pole position in 1976, which was his title-winning year.
Our first podium at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, which hosts the Canadian Grand Prix to this day, was scored by John Watson in 1981. He fought his way up the field from tenth on the grid to finish second.
Niki Lauda and Alain Prost bettered this result in 1984 by scoring our first double podium finish at the circuit. Lauda charged past his competitors and his team-mate to secure the runner-up spot.
We managed our first Montreal one-two in 1988, when Ayrton Senna led Prost home by six seconds. Both drivers finished nearly a minute ahead of third-placed Thierry Boutsen driving a Benetton.
Senna dominated in 1990, winning from pole position and finishing over ten seconds clear of Nelson Piquet’s second-placed Benetton. In 1992, it was Senna’s team-mate Gerhard Berger who inherited the lead after Senna retired with a gearbox problem.
The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve’s Wall of Champions obtained its nickname at the 1999 race after Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve all crashed there. Luckily, Mika Hakkinen kept his head to win from pole position, enhancing his successful bid for a second drivers’ championship.
His compatriot Kimi Raikkonen also won the race some six years later in 2005 after starting in seventh place.
Lewis Hamilton would score his first-ever Formula 1 pole position and victory for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes at the 2007 race, as chaos ensued behind him with accidents, disqualifications and an unprecedented four safety car periods.
He won from pole position again last year, leading home team-mate Jenson Button, who started the race fifth, for the team’s third one-two of the season.