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Old 25 May 2017, 12:21 (Ref:3735932)   #196
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The main point of the article is that Montreal Mayor Coderre and Promoter Francois Dumontier have reconciled their differences and made peace. So at least for now, the future of the Montreal race is assured until 2019.
Whoops, I meant to write 2029.

Though I won't feel 100% confident about the continued existence of the race until representatives of the city of Montreal (and maybe the province of Quebec) formally agree to fund the $50M in renovations. The article suggests that could happen during the upcoming race weekend. On verra.
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Old 16 Jun 2017, 18:36 (Ref:3742287)   #197
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Here are a few excerpts from an article in the Montreal Gazette about the planned upgrades and published at the start of the 2017 race weekend:

Circuit Gilles Villeneuve facilities to get $48-million upgrade by 2019
Jeff Pappone, Special to the Montreal Gazette
Published on: June 8, 2017




...plans to modernize the garage and paddock areas and make them a bit more roomy got stuck in neutral almost as soon as the 2017 completion date was announced two years ago. Along the way, the price tag for the work has jumped from around $30 million to $48 million...

“The Formula One World Championship asked for changes to that plan,” said Noémie Brière-Marquez, a spokesperson for Mayor Denis Coderre.

“The plan was therefore reworked and the budget was modified accordingly to $48 million. We anticipate that the Quebec government will assume the additional costs of $18 million.”


Former Formula One Management (FOM) boss Bernie Ecclestone insisted upon upgrades to the control tower, garages, medical centre and paddock as a condition of a 10-year extension to the Canadian Grand Prix signed in 2014...

...The paddock in Montreal is squeezed between the garage areas behind the pit lane and the Olympic rowing basin, leaving the teams and drivers little elbow room as they go about their business.

...The contract for the race itself was subsequently renegotiated, with five years tacked on to the deal, securing the Canadian Grand Prix to 2029, which included an agreement between the promoter, the city and FOM to delay the renovations by two years.

The previous deal to 2024 committed the municipal, provincial, and federal governments to pitch in a combined $187 million to host the race in Montreal — an average $18.7 million per year — plus the renovations that were to be completed by 2017...
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Old 14 Dec 2017, 21:41 (Ref:3787116)   #198
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Here is some good news about new paddocks for the Circuit GV in Montreal. Now, let's see if it really happens after all these years of controversy. If it does, then the Montreal F1 Babes will be smiling for at least 10 more years.




Renovation of Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve paddocks - A modern and multi-purpose infrastructure for the 2019 edition of the Canadian Grand Prix
NEWS PROVIDED BY
SOCIETE DU PARC JEAN-DRAPEAU
December 14, 2017

MONTRÉAL, Dec. 14, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - The Société du parc Jean-Drapeau (SPJD) unveiled at a press conference today the final concept of the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve paddocks renovation project. The major project, which entails the construction of a new, modern and multi-purpose building, will have a $48 million budget, $30 million of which will come from the City of Montréal and $18 million from the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l'Occupation du territoire (MAMOT)...

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Old 15 Dec 2017, 11:23 (Ref:3787226)   #199
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Quite right, not many places better than Montreal
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Old 15 Dec 2017, 12:10 (Ref:3787242)   #200
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So the Canadian taxpayer funds the VIP areas? Yep, sounds about right for F1.
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Old 15 Dec 2017, 13:26 (Ref:3787252)   #201
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If the venue gets used every month for popular events, it's a good idea.

If it's locked for 48 weeks, it's a bad idea.
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Old 17 Dec 2017, 05:46 (Ref:3787571)   #202
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If the venue gets used every month for popular events, it's a good idea.

If it's locked for 48 weeks, it's a bad idea.
They might want to consider hosting an IMSA and IndyCar round.
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Old 10 Apr 2019, 01:10 (Ref:3896507)   #203
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I spent a few days in Montreal in March and took this photo from the plane of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Click image for larger version

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Also, here are a couple drawings of the new paddocks which are set to open in plenty of time for this year's race (and I'll be there).

Click image for larger version

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Click image for larger version

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Here is a link to more info and a webcam of the construction site.


Incidentally, Montreal ranks 5th among all circuits for most races hosted.


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Old 8 May 2019, 15:00 (Ref:3902644)   #204
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An article in Tuesday's French-language Journal de Montreal reports that, with the Canadian GP weekend (June 7-9) fast approaching, the new paddock building is still not finished. Here are a few translated excerpts from the article:

Grand Prix du Canada: will the paddocks be ready in time?
One month before the Canadian Grand Prix, the paddocks of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve are not yet finished.

At 32 days from the Grand Prix du Canada, the construction of the new paddocks of the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve is still not completed. There is still more work to do, according to what we found Tuesday afternoon.

During the visit of the Journal de Montréal, the site looked like an anthill. Hundreds of workers were busy getting the work done on every floor of the new building, which was supposed to be ready by the end of April. However, they will have to work hard in the coming days.

On Tuesday afternoon, a press conference was announced for May 15 for the inauguration of the new paddocks in the presence of Mayor Valérie Plante and numerous dignitaries, including F1 boss Chase Carey. There is only a week to finish the work before the big visit...

...The work did not go off without a hitch. In an article published by our Investigation Bureau on April 3, unsatisfactory work was done on the roof.

According to the Geyser Group representative, who was awarded the contract for the refurbishment of the pits and garages, poor quality products (vapor barrier) were used for the roof design.

It was the inspectors of the Jean-Drapeau Park Corporation (SPJD) who identified these irregularities. Part of the roof had to be redone and a new contractor received this assignment...

THE WORK AT THE GILLES-VILLENEUVE CIRCUIT IN FIGURES [$CDN]
Cost-initial estimate : $ 32M
Revised costs: $ 48M ( $ 30M from the City of Montreal and $ 18M from the Quebec government)
Final invoice: $ 76 million
Number of floors: 3
Capacity of new lodges (people): 5000
Granting of the construction contract: March 2018
Start of work: July 3, 2018
Target date of completion: April 30, 2019


The article also notes that today is the anniversary (May 8, 1982) of the tragic death of the track's namesake, Gilles Villeneuve.

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Old 8 May 2019, 22:24 (Ref:3902707)   #205
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Judging by this news report and video, it really looks like it will go down to the wire to finish this project before the GP weekend:

A month before the Grand Prix, paddock renovations aren't yet finished
Racetrack paddocks are not ready


CTV Montreal
Wednesday, May 8, 2019 3:41PM EDT

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Old 9 May 2019, 22:17 (Ref:3902874)   #206
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Longtime Journal de Montréal columnist Réjean Tremblay reports that Montreal race promoter François Dumontier is not concerned about the rush to complete the new paddock. Here is my translation of his column:

François Dumontier reste zen
RÉJEAN TREMBLAY
Jeudi, 9 mai 2019

I put myself François Dumontier's shoes yesterday morning. Two pages of words and photos showing many workers working feverishly to complete the construction of the new paddocks of the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.

And the headline asked if the new paddocks costing almost $ 100 million [CDN] would be ready in time. It was like getting hit by a two by four before going to the gym for his daily workout.

Legitimate questions were raised yesterday morning. Radio, TV, news agencies, everyone wondered if the official press conference scheduled for next Wednesday would take place.

We are talking about Minister Caroline Proulx and Prince Consort Jonathan Guay, the federal minister Justin [PM Trudeau} will be sending while waiting for the election, Mayor Valérie Plante who will smile and also the most important visitor, Chase Carey, the great boss of the Formula 1 with Liberty Media.

Press conference

It would be a shame to see holes in the ceiling, poorly painted walls and clogged windows.

It's understandable if François Dumontier got really annoyed while reading the Journal. He won't say anything about his mood at breakfast. But for the rest, everything's fine.

"All I have to say is that I am zen. I'm not worried, not at all. Do you think I would have invited all the speakers and politicians involved for an official press conference in the paddocks if I had not received full and complete assurance that everything would be ready?" said Mr. Dumontier.


However, he added: "Before sending the invitations, I met with the Geyser Group's top executives, the general contractor and the city managers who are responsible for the project," says Dumontier. And all gave me the guarantee that it would be ready," said the promoter.

Expensive but beautiful

The Journal de Montréal noted that the new paddocks were to be delivered on April 30th. Though it was always assumed that the deadline would not be met, which will not surprise anyone.

We also know that the bill has tripled and that taxpayers will pay more than 70 million [CDN] for the facilities.

One of the good things about publishing these pictures by photographer Chantal Poirier in yesterday's edition was to introduce fans and others to the size and beauty of the paddocks. Montreal will have no cuase to envy the other big cities of the world. After all, it had become unthinkable to continue hosting Formula 1 teams in tents that were held together with spit and fishing line.

In addition, the contract between the developer and the City will allow the holding of various events in the new premises. The view is beautiful and the beauty of Montreal seen from the paddocks will be breathtaking. It's expensive, but if it's done right, the game will be worth the cost.

Radio silence of the mayor

What is unfortunate is that [Mayor] Valérie Plante or another city official have all refused to grant interviews on the issue. At least one radio station has tried to get an interview to explain to sports listeners what is going on with this issue. Nay, no, no way! were the answers.

It is Quebec taxpayers paying one third and Montrealers paying the bill. They deserve respect.

But when we see how Mayor Plante behaved awkwardly at the recent Strategic Forum organized by the Montreal Chamber of Commerce, we can understand why she would be afraid of Gilbert Delorme [a famous hockey player].

Nevertheless I ask myself this question. Mayor Jean Drapeau and the City decided to dig and build a metro that would have cost billions in 2019. The decision was made in 1962, and we dug in the rock under Montreal, we built the Notre-Dame island [site of the race] and St. Helena Island with the rock and the dirt from the holes and tunnels, and the subway stations were opened only four years later.

How in the hell did we do that?

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Old 16 May 2019, 02:05 (Ref:3904061)   #207
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The press conference and official unveiling of the new paddocks took place today as scheduled. Though it's obvious that there is still some work to do before the teams, media and VIP fans move in to the new facilities in 3 weeks, it looks like it will be a great new complex.

Video report (mostly in French)

Officials insist Circuit Gilles Villeneuve's new paddocks will be ready for F1 race
'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.
FRÉDÉRIC TOMESCO Updated: May 15, 2019
Montreal Gazette
May 15

Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve’s $60-million facelift is inching toward the finish line.

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. Work on the structure is more than 95 per cent done, which ensures the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada will proceed without a hitch from June 7-9, race chief executive François Dumontier told reporters.

Even as officials spoke, construction crews were busy laying asphalt on pit row and operating machinery amid a din worthy of a large construction site...

... “This is an absolutely spectacular facility,” Chase Carey, CEO of F1 owner Liberty Media, said Wednesday at the event. “It’s rare that expectations are exceeded, but this facility does that. We can’t wait to be back here in a little over three weeks.”

Montreal committed to modernizing and expanding the garages at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve as a condition for a 14-year extension of the agreement to stage the Grand Prix. As things stand, Montreal will host the race until at least 2029.






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Old 16 May 2019, 14:13 (Ref:3904129)   #208
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Have to say it was worth the investment. The pits look so much better. I don't think they were changed since the circuit was reconfigured in 88?
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Old 16 May 2019, 14:56 (Ref:3904139)   #209
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Thanks for the ongoing updates! I have been reading them.

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Old 16 May 2019, 19:46 (Ref:3904211)   #210
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Here is a video about the project from the company that built the new paddocks:

https://youtu.be/6cuyANllq6k

And here's a longer video report (in French) from a local news program:

https://www.salutbonjour.ca/2019/05/...les-villeneuve

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