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Canadian Grand Prix 2023

Schumacher and Vettel helped name Canada's 'Wall of Champions'

It's the most famous section of track in Canada, but who are the World Champions to have crashed into the Wall of Champions?

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From 130R to Eau Rogue, the Lowes Hairpin to Maggots and Beckets, some corners in Formula 1 have become iconic.

But while most of those named above are high-speed thrills, there is one corner at this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix which is as iconic but is a rather mundane challenge.

Turns 12 and 13 at the end of the lap in Montreal is a straight-forward left-right chicane with a good exit crucial on the run to the line.

Nothing out of the ordinary there then, but on the exit of Turn 13 lurks a danger that has claimed more than its fair share of big-name scalps.

This is the Wall of Champions.

1999 - three's a crowd

Despite first hosting an F1 race in 1978, Turn 13 was not dubbed the 'Wall of Champions' until 1999 when three F1 champions all crashed out within 20 laps.

Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve all lost control and slid into the concrete wall on the exit.

Schumacher actually crashed out from the lead in the Ferrari while remarkably, it was not the first time that Villeneuve had hit that wall at the circuit named after his late father, Gilles, having done so in 1997.

The only other active World Champion in that 1999 race was Mika Hakkinen who avoided joining his fellow title winners in ignominy by winning the race for McLaren - although he did embarrassingly crash out at Imola earlier in the season.

Button and Vettel

After 1999, it would be six years before another World Champion would find his way into the Wall of Champions - although Jenson Button is the only one of the five to do so having not been one at the time.

In 2005, the Honda driver, who had set pole position, was under pressure from Schumacher when he misjudged and swiped the front-right against the unforgiving concrete.

Fast forward to Friday practice for the famous 2011 race, and Sebastian Vettel became the only reigning World Champion to hit the wall.

He lost control of the Red Bull on the approach to the corner and lost the fight with the wall.

The German would bounce back to take pole position and then lead 68.5 of the 70 laps during the heavily-delayed race, before losing to Button on the final lap after a mistake forced by the charging McLaren driver.

			© xpb.cc
	© xpb.cc

The current crop

In 2023, there are three World Champions on the grid with nine wins between them in Canada - but none have ever hit the wall.

Lewis Hamilton has seven wins, with Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen both enjoying one apiece.

None of the trio have ever fallen to the Wall of Champions, although Alonso does have a career high eight retirements at the circuit.

It's not just F1 champions who have fallen victim either.

CART champion, and former F1 racer Juan Pablo Montoya and Sportscar champion Derek Warwick are among those to end up in it, while the last driver to hit the wall itself was Kevin Magnussen in Qualifying for the 2019 race.

F1 2023 Canadian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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