Lifting History: Canadian GP Trophy Evolution over the last decade

Alex Gassman

by Alex Gassman

Canadian Grand Prix trophies

Image credit: Protocole.ca

The Canadian GP Trophy is a prestigious thing and one that all Formula 1 drivers would love to put in their trophy cabinet.

The trophy design for the podium finishers at the Montreal Grand Prix changes every year. 

This article looks back at the last 10 Canadian Grand Prix, picks out some of the best and worst designs and shows what the trophy looked like each year.

Contents

Who presents the Canadian Grand Prix trophies?

Once the race has finished and the drivers stand on top of the podium, the national anthem will play for the winning driver and constructor.

After that the trophy presentation will take place. The FIA official documentation for the Canadian Grand prix post-race procedure states that:

‘Dignitaries will present the trophies on the podium as arranged by the Master of Ceremonies’.

Usually this is members of the local government, Royal Family, Grand Prix organization or main sponsors.

In 2023 the Canadian GP trophies were presented by a number of different people:

  • 1st place Trophy: The Honorable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry for Canada. What a great French name.
  • 2nd place Trophy: Caroline Proulx, Quebec Minister of Tourism
  • 3rd place Trophy: François Dumontier, President and CEO of the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada
  • Constructor’s Trophy: Mario Isola, Pirelli Motorsport Director

The first trophy - 1978

Before we look at the recent trophies, first a quick look back at the original.

1978 was the first year the Canadian Grand Prix was held at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, where it’s been run ever since.

In 1978 the circuit had a different name and the inaugural race was fittingly won by the Canadian Gilles Villeneuve himself. It was only after his death a few years later that the circuit was named in his honour.

The trophy that year had a huge wooden base with a large sculpture of a maple tree on top. Each leaf of the tree resembled a maple leaf. It’s one of the most iconic F1 trophy designs.

It’s nice to see that the theme of the original trophy still carries through to the trophies of today, as you’ll see below.

2023 Canadian GP Trophy

The podium at the 2023 Montreal Grand Prix featured the following drivers:

  • 1st place: Max Verstappen
  • 2nd place: Fernando Alonso
  • 3rd place: Lewis Hamilton

The trophy in 2023 was a 3-pronged modern gold coloured statue on top of a black base.

The outline of the gold sections bears a resemblance both to Canadian Grand Prix track layout, and the outline of the Maple Leaf (which as you’ll see below will be a common theme amongst most of these trophies).

2022 Canadian GP Trophy

The top 3 drivers at the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix were:

  • 1st place: Max Verstappen
  • 2nd place: Carlos Sainz
  • 3rd place: Lewis Hamilton

This was a fairly generic trophy. A metal swirl with a red Maple Leaf and chequered section inlaid on it, on top of a dark base.

Within the bottom of the swirl was a small globe representing the earth.

2021 & 2020

The 2021 and 2021 Canadian F1 races didn’t take place due to COVID.

2019 Canadian GP Trophy

The podium finishers at the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix were:

  • 1st place: Lewis Hamilton
  • 2nd place: Sebastian Vettel
  • 3rd place: Charles Leclerc

Lewis Hamilton officially won the 2019 Montreal F1 race, but the win wasn’t without controversary.

Vettel has been leading towards the end of the race but went off the track and across the grass.

As he rejoined the circuit he squeezed Hamilton off to the side of the track and impeded his progress. Vettel was then given a 5 second penalty, and as Hamilton finished less than 5 seconds behind him he inherited the win.

Vettel wasn’t happy. After the race he moved the 1st place sign from in front of Lewis’ Mercedes to in front of his Ferrari in protest of the penalty. Lewis pulled Seb on to the top step of the podium, but the penalty and the result stood.

The 2019 Canadian GP trophy was a big 3D Maple Leaf coloured red and yellow, on a large silver chequered base. The colour scheme was chosen to resemble the colours of the main sponsor, Pirelli.

This trophy and the 2015, 2016 and 2017 trophies were designed and built by Protocole.ca

2018 Canadian GP Trophy

The top 3 finishers at the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix were:

  • 1st place: Sebastian Vettel
  • 2nd place: Valtteri Bottas
  • 3rd place: Max Verstappen

The finishing order was much less controversial in 2018 and Seb took to the win fair and square for Ferrari. Seb is one of the most recent winners to end up in the Wall of Champions.

The trophy was a tall metal structure which started round at the bottom but grew up to the outline of the Heineken Star at the top, showing the influence of the main sponsors even on the trophy design.

2017 Canadian GP Trophy

The podium finishers at the 2017 Canadian Grand Prix were:

  • 1st place: Lewis Hamilton
  • 2nd place: Valtteri Bottas
  • 3rd place: Daniel Ricciardo

This trophy features 12 carbon fibre and kevlar posts supporting a gold coloured aluminium Maple Leaf on the top. Aluminium was used as Quebec is a massive producer and exporter of the material.

The base itself was made of maple, partly because there’s a lot of maple trees at Parc Jean Drapeau where the race is held, and partly because the leaf is the main Canadian symbol.

2016 Canadian GP Trophy

The top 3 drivers at the 2016 Canadian Grand Prix were:

  • 1st place: Lewis Hamilton
  • 2nd place: Sebastian Vettel
  • 3rd place: Valtteri Bottas

The trophy for the 2016 Canadian Grand Prix was a favourite amongst fans. The outline of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was depicted in 8 large aluminium branches, with the circuit’s Hairpin being the point at the top of the trophy.

The arrangement of the 8 branches resemble a tree, paying homage to nature and the abundance of trees surrounding the circuit.

The base was again made of maple.

2015 Canadian GP Trophy

The top 3 finishers at the 2015 Canadian Grand Prix were:

  • 1st place: Lewis Hamilton
  • 2nd place: Nico Rosberg
  • 3rd place: Valtteri Bottas

The trophy in 2015 was the same as it was in 2016. The only difference was that in 2015 it had an aluminium base.

2014 Canadian GP Trophy

The podium finishers at the 2014 Canadian Grand Prix were:

  • 1st place: Daniel Ricciardo
  • 2nd place: Nico Rosberg
  • 3rd place: Sebastian Vettel

This was Danny Ric’s first F1 victory and one to remember.

The 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 Canadian GP trophies were designed by BRP Inc. 

The 2014 trophy features a clear glass cup at the top, shaped as an abstract Maple Leaf. The three arms extending up from the base of the trophy feature an air intake shape like you’d see on the side of an F1 car. The colours are obviously designed to resemble those found on the Canadian Flag.

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Alex Gassman

I‘m Alex. I write F1 and motorsport travel guides based on my experience as racing driver and full-time motorsport nerd. I’ve traveled the world watching F1 and other racing series.

I started oversteer48 with the aim of helping other motorsport fans who are planning on watching some racing themselves.

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