Many dignitaries and partners of the Grand Prix du Canada attended today the inauguration ceremony of the new paddocks at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, after a year of intensive construction work coordinated by the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau within a tight deadline. The major project was completed through funding that included a $41 million contribution by the City of Montréal and $18 million from the Gouvernement du Québec. Completion of the renovated paddocks means the 2019 edition of the Grand Prix du Canada Formula One race, which starts on June 7, will have new state-of-the-art facilities.

The new paddocks will allow all teams to benefit from two entrances at the front of the building for the cars, drivers and technical crews, as well as a service entrance at the back of the building to get to the Hospitality zone. Built without a permanent partition, the garage space is a modular concept based on the specific needs of the respective teams.

The building also boasts an entirely new configuration in the sections for sports commentators and Formula One Championship staff. The control tower is now set up horizontally over two floors and is adapted to new technologies, while the press room is now integrated into the building rather than being set in a temporary tent structure, as it was previously.

The corporate loges, which have permanent grandstands, are now set up over two storeys, with a seating capacity of 5,000, compared to 1,800 in the former facilities.

A freight elevator, large enough to hold an F1 car, has been set up on the far south side of the building, and this installation will also be useful when the paddocks are rented for corporate or private events once the annual Formula One Grand Prix race is over.

The structure of the 1,425 m³ roof is made of wood, a durable and sustainable material. The photovoltaic solar panels placed in certain areas on the roof are 64 m² in total and they should store enough solar energy in one year to offset the energy costs required for the entire building during a Grand Prix event.

Photos: Joey Franco