Montreal Grand Prix General Admission Tips, Viewpoints, Guide

Alex Gassman

by Alex Gassman

Ferrari at the Montreal Grand Prix

Montreal Grand Prix General Admission tickets are the cheapest way to access Circuit Gilles Villeneuve during the Formula 1 weekend to watch some of the action.

But as this article will show, the views as a General Admission ticket holder at the Canadian Grand Prix aren’t the best. So it’s probably worth spending the extra on a grandstand seat.

This article provides a lot of extra information and tips to help you plan your day. It includes a list of things to bring, info on food & drink, money what time to arrive and lots more.

Contents

Montreal Grand Prix General Admission Tickets

General Admission tickets are the cheapest way to access the Montreal Formula 1 race, but that means they’re also some of the first to sell out on the official Canadian GP website.

So I would recommend buying tickets through Stubhub. 

I used Stubhub for F1 tickets multiple times in the last 12 months, including for General Admission tickets to the inaugural Vegas GP, and have always have a great experience.

Their FanProtect guarantee is solid and keeps both your money and tickets safe. They have also got a huge number of GA and grandstand tickets currently available for the Montreal F1 race.

Check out the Canadian Grand Prix Schedule to get an idea of everything that’s taking place on each day. The Montreal F1 event usually doesn’t include a sprint race, so Friday is only practice sessions.

A General Admission ticket gives you access to the circuit venue, all of the GA viewing areas, the F1 Fan Zone, Family Zone, Beach Zone, Park and Cosmos Zones, the Monster Energy Compound and more.

General Admission tickets at Montreal do not give you access to any of the grandstands.

Getting to the Montreal Grand Prix

See our comprehensive Canada GP travel guide for information on how to get to the circuit and which methods of travel to use.

There are three different entrances around the track and the one you use should be based on where you plan on viewing the racing from. See our guide to the Montreal F1 entrance gates for more information.

Montreal Grand Prix General Admission views

Unfortunately Circuit Gilles Villeneuve isn’t a great place to be a General Admission spectator. The circuit is completely flat which means you’re always viewing from ground level, and often there’s two fences that you have to look through.

Plus the grandstands have increased in size and number over the years, taking up some of the better viewing spots. The remaining view points are pretty limited and it’s almost always a challenge to find a spot where you can see some of the action.

The map below shows some of the Montreal F1 General Admission viewpoints around the circuit, highlighted in blue and labelled A – H.

A - Exit of Turn 2

There’s a small spot just to the left of Grandstand 11 on the exit of Turn 2, as the bottom of the pedestrian bridge that crosses the circuit.

There’s a TV opposite as well which is angled towards the grandstand. If you get to the right hand side of this General Admission viewing area you should be able to see it.

B - Turn 6

Just to the right of Grandstand 32 and to the left of the Family Grandstand is a small area where you can see the track.

There’s two screens on the opposite side of the circuit that you can just about see as well, if you’re close to the front of the viewing area.

C - Exit of Turn 9

Just to the left of Grandstand 31 is a small viewing area under the trees and close to the fence. You can just about see the cars exit Turn 9 if you get yourself to the front.

No screen visible from here.

D - Before the Hairpin

On the outside of the circuit before the hairpin you can get up next to the fence alongside Grandstand 21 and watch the cars speed past just before they hit the brakes for the hairpin.

If you get in the right spot you can see the Jumbotron TV screen on the inside of the hairpin.

The video below shows an example of this view from opposite Grandstand 34.

E - Exit of the Hairpin

To the right of the Lance Stroll Grandstand is a small area for General Admission viewing. It’s not easy to actually see the track from here unless you’re in exactly the right spot near the fence and far enough to the right so you’re not blocked by the grandstand.

The one bonus is that this is on a small bank so it’s slightly raised up above the level of the track.

The video below shows an example of the view (or the lack of it).

F - Outside of Turn 12

Between the Lance Stroll stand and Grandstand 46 on the outside of the circuit there’s an area against the fence where you can see the track.

Again if you’re close enough to the fence you’ll be able to see the Jumbotron on the inside of the hairpin.

Here’s an example of the view from this Montreal General Admission viewpoint:

G - Inside of Turn 12

On the inside of the circuit to the right of Grandstand 47 is another small viewing area. As of the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix there is now a TV screen opposite this Grandstand, so you’ll be able to see that from the General Admission viewpoint.

The video below shows an example of the view from here.

H - Inside of Casino Straight

This is the one and only raised General Admission viewing point around the whole of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

There’s a road near the Casino that runs alongside the straight and is raised up around 10 feet or so from the track level.

You can see the people standing there at 1:14 in the official F1 highlights from 2023.

I - Inside of Turn 13

On the inside of the circuit zone in the braking zone for the final chicane is another small viewing area.

Unfortunately the inner fence is set quite a distance back from the safety fence so it’s hard to get a great view, but you will just about be able to see the cars as they brake and overtake at the chicane.

You can see this area at 1:17 in the F1 highlights.

J - Inside of the start / finish straight

Just after the exit of Turn 14, slightly past the Wall of Champions, there’s a general admission viewing area to the left of Grandstand 1.

It’s a little too far along the straight to see the cars exit the chicane. But you’ll be able to see them come past you and will just about be able to see one of the screens on top of the pit lane buildings.

Is Montreal Grand Prix General Admission worth it?

If you’re hoping to see some good racing action then Montreal Grand Prix General Admission is not worth it.

Hopefully the images and videos above have given you a feel for what it’s like to be a General Admission spectator at the Montreal Grand Prix. Not great.

The views are very limited and you’ll always be battling a big crowd, especially on race day, to try and get a good spot.

If you can snap up some of the cheaper grandstand tickets then I would 100% recommend doing that. Some of the stands around the hairpin like Grandstand 46 and Grandstand 47 are only $30 CAD more than the GA ticket.

Commentary at the Canadian Grand Prix

The live commentary at the circuit is in French and English. Hearing it depends on how close you are to a speaker and how much the sound of the cars drowns it out. Usually it’s very difficult to hear.

There are large TVs in the F1 Fan Zone to sit and watch the action on if you don’t get a spot near the track.

Failing that, bring a little FM radio and try and tune in to a sports station to get the commentary instead. The internet and phone signal can be pretty bad so don’t rely on getting a live stream up on your phone.

Try the FM frequencies below, thanks to hotfries44 on reddit for this tip:

Walking around

Most of the spectators pathways within the Canadian Grand Prix enclosure are paved. However, you often find yourself having to cut across some grass and if it rains this is likely to be muddy. Make sure you bring shoes you are happy to get dirty.

Also, there is a surprising amount of walking to be done. If you are planning on getting over towards the start / finish straight it’s one heck of a walk from the Concorde or Cosmos entrance. It can take over an hour with all the people around you.

So make sure your shoes are comfy as well.

Walking boots in the mud - need to know the Canadian F1 dress code and wear the right footwear

Water Refill Points

You can bring your own water bottles in to the Montreal Grand Prix. There are water bottle refill stations dotted around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve but these are less frequently seen than you’d like, can have long lines and are slow to refill.

It’s worth bringing as much water as you can carry as there’s nothing worse than running out, although you can also buy it (at a high cost) from the food and drink vendors on site.

Food and Drink at the Montreal Grand Prix

You can bring your own food and drink to the Canadian Grand Prix and it’s definitely worth doing so, to help save you money on the vendors within the circuit. If you don’t have time to prepare your own, even stopping at a nearby market on the way to the track to pick up some snacks is worthwhile.

You are not allowed to bring your own alcohol in to the Montreal F1 circuit. You have to purchase it from the trackside bars.

The price of food and drink at the merchants within the circuit has been surprisingly reasonable over the last few years. $3 CAD for a coffee and $6 CAD for a hot dog isn’t bad considering the environment.

Below are some of the food vendors that were at the circuit last year.

Food and drink at the Canadian F1
Family zone food and drink at th Canadian GP
Hairpon zone food and drink - Canadian GP
Senna Zone food and drink vendors at the Montreal F1 race

One of the nicest spots to grab some food is on the steps behind the Lance Stroll stand. There’s a whole row of food vendors here. If the weather’s nice sitting on the steps and looking out over the water is a nice place to take a break.

Toilets

Most of the toilets around the circuit are portacabins. These can run out of toilet paper over the course of a day so pack your own, or bring wetwipes, just in case.

Backpacks at the Canadian Grand Prix

You are allowed to bring backpacks and coolers in to the Montreal Grand Prix. The circuit states they must be of the following maximum size:

Height: 22.8 cm (9 in)
Length: 45.7 cm (18 in)
Depth: 25.4 cm (10 in)

The reality is that as long as you don’t try and bring something ridiculously huge, you’ll probably be allowed in ok. They will search you bag on entry just to check for any of the prohibited items.

What to do around the circuit

There are a number of different things to see and do when you’re not watching the racing. You can do all of these whether you’re a Montral Grand Prix general admission ticket holder, or a grandstand seat ticket holder.

  • F1 Fan Zone: Includes a reaction time challenge, pit stop challenge, driving simulators, merchandise stands, virtual F1 driver selfies and more
  • Monster Energy Compound: Motorcross stunt and jump show, live music, bars, free Monster energy drink
  • Family Zone: Behind the Family grandstand and includes bounce houses, zorb balls and more activites for kids
  • The Casino: Inside the circuit is a huge casino that’s open across the whole Canadian GP weekend
  • Beach Zone: Check out the golden sandy beach on the inside of the circuit and dip your toes in the (icy cold) water.
  • Heineken Terrace: Enjoy a beer. In 2023 Martin Garrix played here after the race.
  • Support race paddock: See the other race cars behind Grandstand 15

What to bring to the Montreal Grand Prix

Below is a list of items you should considering bringing to the Canadian Grand Prix:

General

  • Tickets – printed or easily available on your phone
  • Money  – Montreal F1 is cashless so bring cards, but cash is handy for stuff outside the circuit
  • Rucksack

Weather protection

  • Sun screen (even if it’s not sunny it helps stop wind burn)
  • UV protection lip balm
  • Sun hat / cap
  • Sun glasses
  • Waterproof everything – jacket / trousers / cagoule, even a waterproof rucksack (or cover) can help keep your belongings dry
  • Waterproof poncho is a good idea as it can cover your backpack too
  • Umbrella (not allowed in the grandstands, only for General Admission)
  • Warm clothes
  • Windproof clothes / snood
  • Gloves
  • Thick socks
  • Waterproof shoes / boots that you don’t mind getting dirty and are comfortable
  • Hand warmers 

Electronics

  • Fully charged phone
  • Pay for F1 TV and download the app for the weekend so you can watch / listen to live coverage and commentary (although signal can be patchy)
  • In-ear headphones to connect to your phone
  • Small FM radio to listen to the commentary on 99.1 or 90.7 FM
  • A set of noise cancelling over-ear headphones to go over the top of the in-ear headphones from the radio helps cancel out the noise of the cars so you can hear the commentary more easily.
  • Battery bank / power pack
  • Still camera with zoom lens
  • Video camera
  • Spare camera batteries
  • Spare memory cards

Spectating

  • Folding camping chair(s) / stools – essential for General Admission viewing
  • Ear plugs or ear defenders, especially for young kids
  • Picnic rug or something waterproof to put on the ground to sit on
  • Cushion (equally useful on grandstand seats)
  • Pushchair for young children 

Food / drink

  • Food – you are allowed to bring your own food in to Montreal. There are lots of food vendors but they all serve similar stuff and can be a little pricey, so bringing your own can be cheaper, better and more varied.
  • Drinks – You are allowed to bring your own soft drinks and water, but no alcohol. No glass bottles allowed. There are a number of bars dotted around the site that will be selling alcohol.
  • Cool box
  • Rubbish bag – don’t leave any litter!
  • Tissues / wet wipes

Check out our article on the Canadian F1 Dress code for more information on what you can and can’t wear in different areas, plus some example outfits.

Montreal GP Prohibited Items

Below is a list of the official prohibited items at the Canadian Grand Prix, taken from the official FAQ here. 

Ticket access

There will be QR code scanners at the gates to read your tickets. These will be fine on your phone but make sure you’ve already downloaded them and saved them locally as internet signal can be patchy.

It’s never a bad idea to bring a print out of your ticket as a backup (and it’s usually faster).

Leaving the Montreal Grand Prix

In 2023 a total of 345,000 spectators attended the Canadian Grand Prix over the 3-day weekend. That’s a lot of people to cram on to a small island.

Once the racing’s over almost everyone will try and leave and head for the Metro at the same time and it’ll be carnage. Don’t plan on being anywhere anytime soon at the end of the day.

Redditor OpticaScientae said it took over 2 hours to get from Grandstand 11 to the Metro station on the Saturday. GS11 is about as far away as you can get.

Check out this awesome drone footage over the circuit and you’ll get a feel for just how small the island is and how little room there is to cram in all of those spectators.

Canadian Grand Prix Track Invasion

After the race finishes on Sunday there’s always a track invasion on the Montreal Grand Prix circuit. People will jump fences, climb barrier and squeeze through the tightest gaps to get on the track.

Fans usually flock down to the Podium just next to the start line. You need to get there fast if you want a good spot to watch the ceremony.

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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