Francois Dumontier, the promoter of the Canadian Grand Prix, says it has been a challenge to get the new pit building complex built in time for this year’s race, but after the success of completing on time, he is excited by revealing it to the world this weekend.
Having signed an extension to their contract to host a Grand Prix, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, as part of the agreement, was required to build a new pit complex to replace the previous one, which was well past its best and was in drastic need of updating.
The City of Montréal and the Government of Quebec invested CAN$60 million (£35.3 million) into the project, and everyone has been rewarded with a state-of-the-art complex that will be in use for the first time this weekend for round seven of the 2019 Formula 1 season.
“It was certainly a challenge. To construct something like this in 10 months, especially with our winter conditions… It’s almost a miracle,” Dumontier is quoted as saying by Crash.net. “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 Montréal.”
Dumontier said it was important that the track layout itself remained unchanged, but the pit lane has been narrowed by ten feet with permission from the FIA, and that Formula 1 remains the priority for the facilities despite plans already in place for other events later in the year.
“It was really important that we didn’t change the track layout, so we worked within the same perimeter,” added Dumontier. “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.”