Canadian Grand Prix promoter Francois Dumontier says finishing the new pit buildings has been a race against time in preparation for its official Formula 1 opening.

With aging and temporary garages housing the F1 paddock for a number of years, the Canadian GP officials raised CAN$60m (£35.3m) of investment from the City on Montreal and Government of Quebec to develop a new pit building for 2019.

Following a 10-month construction plan, Dumontier concedes due to a harsh Montreal winter fears grew over the project being completed on time but he is delighted to see the building work finished for this year’s F1 Canadian GP.

“It was certainly a challenge. To construct something like this in 10 months, especially with our winter conditions… It’s almost a miracle,” Dumontier said. “And this past winter was a tough one, even for us! But we succeeded. It was a nice challenge and we’re really proud of the final product.

“All the parties were really keen to do it. They understood the importance of building a new facility, not only for the practical reasons of providing teams with great facilities and for hosting guests, but also for the image of Montreal in the championship and around the world.

“I can’t wait for the TVs around the world to show the new building. It’s going to be a great store window for Montreal.”

While Circuit Gilles Villeneuve’s track layout has been untouched, the new pit building has made the pit lane 10-foot narrower. Dumontier says all pit lane changes were produced with the approval of F1 and the FIA, while the sport will remain as the circuit’s main priority.

“It was really important that we didn’t change the track layout, so we worked within the same perimeter,” he said. “The building is only 30 feet longer but in terms of the width it is much larger. With the approval of the FIA we had to make the pit lane 10 feet narrower and we gained 35 feet behind the garage towards the rowing basin.

“Formula 1 will be the main user of the building, but during the rest of they year, they will rent spaces in the complex for a variety of other events. The media centre can operate as a multi-functional space, and as far as I understand there are already a number of events planned for the building.”

Dumontier also confirmed track resurfacing is likely to take place after next year’s race as part of its 2021 preparations. The Canadian GP’s existing F1 contract at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is set to run until 2024.

 

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