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JANUARY 9, 2002

Paddock renovation work for Monza

THE Autodromo Nazionale at Monza has proved itself to be adept at dodging change in recent years but the pressures on the 80-year-old circuit have gradually increased to such an extent that finally a major revamp is happening to bring the facilities up to a more modern standard. The recent years have seen a brand new pit building put in place with hospitality units, offices and a media center. The paddock has been expanded to make more space.

But the Formula One organization has been insisting on further change and the Italians have finally accepted the need to change the area immediately beyond the pitlane. This currently features a rather shoddy selection of buildings and the traditional podium, which is in fact a gateway (with two art deco towers) that leads from the track to the original paddock area. This entire section and the area behind it is to be redeveloped with the shops and a restaurant being demolished to make way for a bigger paddock, a more effective podium, better administration buildings and more hospitality areas.

Traditionalists will argue that it is wrong to tear down the gateway/podium but in order to keep its grip on the Italian GP Monza has been forced to take that step.