Preparations are nearly completed for next weekend's 2000 Air Canada Canadian Grand Prix. Along with the usual set-up and preparations, a number of more significant changes to the paddock area have been in construction. Motorsport.com sent...
Preparations are nearly completed for next weekend's 2000 Air Canada Canadian Grand Prix. Along with the usual set-up and preparations, a number of more significant changes to the paddock area have been in construction.
Motorsport.com sent our correspondents to examine and record the work being done at Île Notre-Dame in Montréal, located in the middle of the St. Lawrence River. This article and the accompanying photos document the progress of the construction being done at the Canadian circuit.
The Gilles Villeneuve Circuit has always had a relatively tiny paddock area, squished between the pits and the Olympic rowing strip.
The FIA requested an increase in paddock area for this year, and organizers have essentially doubled it. To facilitate the F1 teams' space requirements, organizers have built a pontoon platform which extends out behind the existing paddock area, well into the Olympic rowing basin. So, in essence, the new area of paddock floats on the water of the rowing strip.
One of the more popular Canadian Grand Prix events, for the mechanics at least, is the annual rowing contest between teams across the width of the rowing basin. It is unclear how the new pontoon platform will affect this annual race.
The usual preparations are also proceeding. It appears Grandstand 15 has been enlarged, with a higher extension to one side of the stand. The city is also ready, with many posters adorning the streets, and some bars and coffee shops already sporting banners and flags. Some of the competitors have begun to arrive, with trucks carrying teams from the "New Beetle Cup" already in Montréal.
Above all of this, however, remains the question of the potential transit strike. Usually Montréal's public transit makes the Canadian Grand Prix one of the easiest races in the world for the fans to get to. If a transit strike were to shut down Montréal's subway, it would become much more chaotic. On Thursday, June 8th however, announcements came from the provincial Québec government that they would pass a law forbidding a transit strike on Grand Prix weekend. This comes as welcome news to the fans and the city awaiting their arrival.
Photos by Piero Facchin