Schumacher Is Still The Ultimate Master Of Montreal

Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the site of Lewis Hamilton’s first of 103 grand prix wins, will be hosting the 43rd edition of the Canadian GP this weekend.

The track has been a perennial feature on the F1 calendar, hosting races since 1978 (except when it was dropped in 2009, and because of COVID cancellations in 2020 and 2021) and has been the site for some iconic moments in F1 history.

With the track having such a rich history, we have attempted to quantitatively compare all 216 F1 drivers to have raced at the circuit, by creating an all-time Canadian GP leaderboard.

Points distribution methodology

To create this leaderboard we made adjustments to the point scoring system so as to attain uniform points distribution. F1 scoring systems have changed over the years and we have applied the current points scoring system to all 42 Canadian GPs.

Take the 2007 Canadian GP as an example. Hamilton won the race, putting 10 points on board in the drivers’ championship. Unlike today, where the top 10 finishers are awarded points, only the top six were awarded points then. So, to be fair to drivers of this era, in our analysis, we awarded points to the top 10 from this race, as per today’s scoring standard - 25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1 and an additional point for the fastest lap.

This was done for all races which used a different scoring system from the one in use today and we then produced the leaderboard.

Michael Schumacher is the ultimate champion in Montreal

Seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher came out on top in our analysis, with 288 points from 18 races. Following Schumacher is Hamilton with 231 points from 14 races. Sebastian Vettel with 170 points from 12 races is third.

Fernando Alonso is the eighth most successful driver at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with 115 points from 18 races. Max Verstappen, who’s won twice in a row here is 13th on the leaderboard but is likely to break into the top ten.

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When it comes to points per race, Gilles Villeneuve, the man after whom the circuit is named, tops the list with 17.25 points per race. The Canadian motorsport icon only raced in Montreal four times before his tragic death, winning once and being on the podium three times.

Most podiums and wins

Schumacher shares the record for most wins with Hamilton but when it comes to podiums, he stands all alone with 12 from 18 races.

Hamilton is second with 10 podiums from 14 races - seven of them being wins. Nelson Piquet is third in the all-time wins list with three from 14 wins and had a podium finish five times - a record he shares with Alain Prost, Jean Alesi and Rubens Barrichello.

Sebastian Vettel is third when it comes to most podium finishes in Montreal - six from 12 races, posting a 50 percent podium rate.

Pole-to-win conversions

Pole position at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has given 21 winners, from 42 races. Exactly 50 percent. This suggests that pole position isn’t as important but a deeper look presents a different analysis.

Since 2015, pole position has been crucial as only one winner - Hamilton in 2019 - was not on pole. That itself has a big caveat, as Vettel, who was the polesitter, was given a five-second penalty and had to concede the winning position to Hamilton.

Five drivers - Alan Jones, Fernando Alonso, Rene Arnoux, Damon Hill, Nigel Mansell and Max Verstappen - have a hundred percent pole-to-win conversion rate at Montreal. The Dutchman, however, surpasses the others as he’s the only one to have more than one pole position converted to a win.

Among drivers with multiple pole positions, Hamilton has the best conversion rate having driven to victory five times from six pole positions. Senna is second with two wins from three poles while Schumacher converted three of his six pole positions to wins.