Image credit Norris
Grandstand 1 at the Montreal Grand Prix is on the pit straight, directly opposite the pit lane and garages, and gives fans the best view in the house of the start line.
This is also one of the most expensive grandstands at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, but is it worth it? The answer is yes and no.
This article provides a complete guide to spectating at Grandstand 1 for the Canadian Grand Prix. It includes a seating chart, examples of the views, tips on getting the best seats and information on tickets.
Grandstand 1 Location - Montreal Grand Prix
Grandstand 1 is located along the main straight at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
It’s on the inside (right-hand side) of the circuit and sits directly opposite the pit lane, pit garages and pit buildings. One end of the stand is also directly in front of the start / finish straight.
The other end of the stand is closer to the exit of the final corner, Turn 14, where there’s the Wall of Champions.
Grandstand 1 tickets at Canadian Grand Prix
For the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix a 3-day weekend ticket in Grandstand 1 cost $710 CAD. That made it the second most expensive grandstand at the circuit, with the only one more expensive being the covered Platine grandstand.
The cost for this stand increased by $40 CAD over its $670 CAD price tag from the previous year.
Tickets for this stand can be purchased on the official GP Canada website, and are released in July or August the year before the F1 event takes place. Tickets often sell out incredibly quickly so you might need to use some resellers to find some, but do so at risk.
If you purchase a grandstand ticket you will also get full access to all of the Canadian GP General Admission areas around the circuit. Plus you can enter the F1 Fan Zone and other entertainment zones.
These tickets have become a lot more expensive over the last few years. See our full analysis of the Canadian GP ticket prices to see just how much they’ve increased.
Grandstand 1 details
This grandstand is uncovered. It’s completely exposed to the elements so make sure you bring suitable clothing and prepare for the sun, rain or both.
The seats are chairs with folding seat bases and a backrest. If it rains the chair base will get wet so bring something to sit on and keep your backside dry!
There are 3 TV screens visible from this stand. These are attached to the top of the pit lane building opposite the grandstand and are spaced out pretty evenly.
See the Grandstand 1 seating chart below for more details on which parts of the stand are directly opposite the screens.
Grandstand 1 Seating Chart Montreal Grand Prix
Below is the seating chart for Grandstand 1 at the Montreal Grand Prix.
As the chart shows the grandstand is split up in to 13 different sections. The start line is directly in front of section 1 and the podium is just a little further on.
Sections 1 to 6 are the tallest, 7 to 10 are slightly lower and 11 to 13 are the smallest.
The rows in the grandstand are named with letters. The front row is row AA, the second row is row BB and that continues up to the 26th row, row ZZ. After that the 27th row becomes row A, then row B and it continues upwards in single letters.
I believe the different sections of the grandstand have the following number of rows (leave a comment if you know otherwise):
- Sections 1 to 6 – 33 rows (back is row G)
- Sections 7 to 10 – 23 rows (back is row W)
- Sections 11 to 13 – 12 rows (back is row L)
The seat numbers increase from left to right as you stand on the track and look at the stand. The numbers start from 1 at the beginning of each section.
Grandstand 1 views
The map below shows the areas of the circuit than can be seen from Grandstand 1 during the Formula 1 weekend.
From this grandstand your view will predominantly be of the part of the start / finish straight directly in front of you. Depending how high you sit you will also be able to some of the pit lane and pit garage action too.
As the circuit curves around to the right before Turn 1, unfortunately it means that you don’t really have much of a view of the first two corners on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Plus the people either side of you in the stand will block your view from left to right.
The video below was filmed from section 3, row MM, seats 6 & 7. It shows how the cars disappear out of view shortly after they’ve left the start line.
The video below is filmed from section 6 row KK.
Being lower down near the front of the stand doesn’t help either. As the stand is so close to the fence, it means that if you look from left to right along the fence-line it becomes almost impossible to see through it.
The video below was filmed from section 5, row BB, seat 10 and shows exactly this.
If you’re sat in the front few rows then your view is very limited. All you can really see are the cars passing directly in front of you for a couple of seconds at high speed.
This next video shows this as well being the very front row. Filmed from section 10, row AA, seat 12.
And this next video is filmed from section 12, row AA. Even at this end of the stand, being at the front means the fence blocks your views of the final corner leading on to the straight.
The only way to be able to see more of the first couple of corners would be to get seat 1 in section 1, higher up the stand. Then you would be at the extreme end and wouldn’t have anyone to your right blocking your view.
Best Seats in Grandstand 1
As the view of the track is pretty always limited to the start / finish straight, regardless of where you sit in Grandstand 12, then the best seats are those higher up that give you a clearer view of the pit lane, TVs, start line and podium.
Therefore, the best seats are those in sections 1 and 2. These are right next to the start line, have a large TV screen directly opposite and are within throwing distance of the podium. So you’re in a great place to see the winner lift the Canada GP trophy at the end of the race.
I’d go for higher seats; anything above row KK and up would give a nice high vantage point for clearly seeing the pit lane action.
Is Grandstand 1 a good place to sit at the Montreal Grand Prix?
If you want to witness some close racing and overtaking then this is not a good place to sit. The view of the track is very limited and you’ll watch most of the race on the TVs. Not worth the money.
If, however, you want to be able to spot some F1 drivers and team managers, watch the pit stops take place and be as close as possible to the podium then this is the spot to be in.
For those interested in seeing some racing, check out the Montreal GP Grandstand 11. This is on the outside of the first two corners, has views the whole way up the start / finish straight and puts you in a spot where you’re guaranteed to see some action. Plus it’s cheaper!
If you want something covered your only option is the Platine Grandstand, but that’s even more expensive.
Getting to Grandstand 1 at the Montreal Grand Prix is a bit of a walk. You need to enter the circuit via the Casino entrance, walk through the inside of the track past the Casino and then head towards the grandstand on the start / finish straight.
There is also a water taxi that goes across the lake inside the circuit that can save some time. See our full guide to the Canada GP entrance gates for more info.