- The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has been part of the F1 calendar since 1978, before Villeneuve himself was anywhere near the legend he later became. But the paddock didn’t change a huge amount in all these years - until now. In the first day using the new pit building, there was a mix between a relief of getting rid of the tents, and a sense that everything was far from being finished.

- The project is actually to get it done for the 2020 race, and the teams’ offices are still in the same tents as in the previous years. The whole pit area, on the other hand, is brand new, as are the VIP and media areas. But in the media centre, for example, all the ventilation tubes are still apparent and the roof doesn’t look like it’s finished. Or, let’s say, it better not be…

- “I can even smell the asphalt, it looks like they did it today”, laughed Daniil Kvyat, while Lewis Hamilton celebrated that “they have finally committed to the race, because it hadn’t changed at least for the 13 years that I’ve been coming here. But that bridge remains the same!” Hamilton refers to a provisional walking bridge that provides access to the paddock and was still being finished at 10am this Thursday.

- But everybody loves Montreal, and Montreal seems to love F1 back. Even on Wednesday night, the city’s main streets were full of checkered flags in all kinds of stores, from fashion brands to drugstores, and fans with different teams’ caps and shirts were walking around the city. If there’s one city that does embrace F1 in the whole championship, it’s got to be Montreal.

- Thursday was also a day of denials. Pierre Gasly didn’t even have to be asked about the rumours that Red Bull are talking to Nico Hulkenberg to substitute him for 2020 to say that he wouldn’t “spend any time talking about that bullshit”, calling it "bad journalism". And Hulkenberg himself called the rumours “fake news”, even jokingly recognizing that “it was very good for my ego.”

- Another denial came from Sebastian Vettel, who said that he has “a mission to win with Ferrari" after suggestions that he could retire at the end of this season, as some reports suggested. What remains to be seen is if these are also the Scuderia’s plans for him after his current contract ends after 2020. 

- Who spoke about extending his contract and staying for five more years in F1 was Hamilton, during his interview with David Letterman for his Netflix show. The Brit recalled how the whole thing panned out. “I was in a photoshoot somewhere and he called me. I was like holy crap!” he said. “Then I sat there and thought: ‘Jeez, this is that legendary interviewer’, but he was so warm and welcoming and in the end, we had a lot of thing to relate to and it took the edge off it all. Plus his beard is very welcoming as well!”

- The FIA has kept in place its deterrent for corner cutting at the Turn 9 and Turn 14 chicanes in Montreal for 2019, continuing with the system it has used each of the past two years. At Turn 9, any driver adjudged to have missed the apex must stay to the left of an orange bollard at the end of the run-off area, with a similar system in place at Turn 14 to ensure no advantage is gained.

 

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