Montreal Track Guide | Sector 3 | F1 2021
The man-made Notre Dame Island in the middle of the St Lawrence River in Montreal, Canada was created for the 1967 Expo 67 World's Fair. Some clever people then decided to make a race track out of the island’s roads. Circuit Ile Notre-Dame first hosted the race in 1978. Fittingly, Gilles Villeneuve claimed his maiden win here, and the track was later renamed Circuit Gilles Villeneuve after him.
Sector 3 at Montreal starts with a tight hairpin followed by the extremely long back straight, where DRS is very powerful. The sector ends with a very quick chicane that demands extreme car positioning to strike a balance between kerb use and stability to avoid ending up in the Wall of Champions.
Turn 10: Entry (The Hairpin)
Approaching Turn 10 in 8th gear, get the car straightened up on the left side after rounding the kink in a smooth fashion. Hit the brakes just as the 100m board goes out of view on the left and stay in a straight line using all of the track without touching the grass.
Turn in after the 50m board in 4th gear and release the brakes as you do. Then shift into 1st for rotation just before the apex.
Turn 10: Apex (The Hairpin)
Come off the brakes and make a wide turn into the apex of Turn 10. Hug the inside for a late apex and a better exit. Avoid touching the kerb to increase rear stability and traction, kissing the white line instead.
Briefly shift into 1st gear just before the kerb, coast past the apex at full lock and then double shift to 3rd gear on the exit for traction. Get back on the power smoothly to rotate but not spin the car.
Turn 10: Exit (The Hairpin)
Coming out of Turn 10, try to hug the inside kerb for longer than you think to allow you to straighten the car and get to full power sooner instead of getting pinched by the wall on the exit. It is critical to get a good exit onto the long straight to follow.
After taking the apex in 1st gear, double shift to 3rd on exit for better drive out and progressively build throttle to full just before you shift to 4th gear.
Take the kink of Turn 11 flat out and try to minimise steering inputs. Kiss the apex kerb very gently to shorten the route and avoid scrubbing too much speed down the DRS straight. Shift into 4th just before the kerb and 5th just after it.
Turn 12 (Casino Straight)
Turn 12 is not much of a corner. Really it is just a kink in the straight. Nonetheless, there is still time to be found by seeking out every inch of racetrack on the inside to shorten the run. Get as close to the inside wall as you can, minimise steering input and take the line of least resistance as you blast at full throttle down the straight with the DRS open.
Make sure to slowly drift back to the left for the braking zone of Turn 13.
Turn 13: Entry
Get back over to the left down the straight to prepare for the braking zone of Turn 13. Use the full width of the track and brake hard after passing the 100m board by some margin, then trailbrake to the apex. Be careful of the grass again as it is not protected by a kerb.
Stay straight for the initial braking phase then turn in at the 50m board. Enter in 8th gear, downshift to 6th on turn-in and 4th for the apex.
Turn 13: Apex
The first apex of Turn 13 is crucial. You need to absolutely mount the flat kerb to the point of cutting it as there isn't really a sausage kerb to unsettle you. Really test the track limits of the sim here to effectively straight-line the chicane to make it less tight and carry maximum speed through.
Trailbrake to the apex in 4th gear and use 4th throughout the chicane to maintain stability. Begin to put the throttle back on as you are on the back half of the kerb and build it slowly towards T14 without lifting again. Focus on timing the transition into the next apex.
Turn 14: Apex
Take the second apex of the final chicane at Turn 14 in 4th gear with slightly less kerb than before, keeping the right tyres in play.
Increase the throttle after T13 and cross the apex at around 70% before going to 100% after the kerb and shifting to 5th gear. Do this in a manner so that you are always increasing the throttle rather than lifting.
Avoid large steering angles that unsettle the car, especially when on the kerb and focus on nailing the transition and then exit out towards the Wall of Champions.
Turn 14: Exit (The Wall of Champions)
Perhaps the most famous exit wall on the calendar, the "Wall of Champions". This does not mean you'll be a champion if you crash into it!
Carry as much speed out of the Turn 14 apex as possible and run the car as close as you can to the wall on exit to carry the most momentum to the line. Be careful not to open up the wheel too soon or you might have to lift to avoid the wall, something you don't want to do.
Exit in 5th gear and shift to 6th as you cross the DRS line, remembering to open it only when the car is stable. Also try to get back to the left to avoid the grass when the kerb ends, taking the shortest route to the line.