Mayor, F1 race officials unveil Circuit Gilles Villeneuve s new paddocks
|Montreal Gazette 15 May 2019 at 11:50|
Builders and Grand Prix du Canada organizers face a race against time to get Circuit Gilles Villeneuve ready for the July 7-9 opening weekend.
Mayor Valérie Plante was among the dignitaries who joined hundreds of sponsors and guests on Wednesday morning to inaugurate the new state-of-the-art paddocks at Île-Notre-Dame. The revamp is expected to cost about $60 million, including about $41 million from the city itself.
Even as officials spoke, construction crews were busy laying asphalt on the track and operating machinery. The event took place in an open-air space overlooking the racetrack that featured bare cement floors.
“I want to reassure everyone: The paddocks will be ready for the Grand Prix,” Renaud Coulombe, head of Société du Parc Jean Drapeau, told attendees.
Launched in July, the modernization and expansion work has been beset by delays and cost overruns. Race CEO François Dumontier had originally pledged to have the work completed by April.
Once fully completed, the new three-story facility will feature improved access for Formula 1 teams, as well as enhanced quarters for sports commentators and F1 staff. Race teams will now have access to two entrances at the front of the building, as well as a service entrance at the back.
Increased revenue is another benefit of the work. Corporate boxes at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve will now be able to house about 5,000 people, up from 1,800 previously.
Montreal committed to modernizing and expanding the temporary buildings on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve as a condition for a 14-year extension of the agreement to stage the Canadian Grand Prix. As things stand now, .