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New pits to greet teams in Monte Carlo 18 May 2004

Preparations in the pit lane.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Monaco Grand Prix, Preparations, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, 28 May 2003

Formula One team mechanics will have a slightly easier job in Monte Carlo this year thanks to an all-new pit and paddock area that means that for the first time they will have dedicated garages in which to work on their cars.

Previously, some teams had to ferry their cars back and forth between work tents in the paddock and the pit lane, while others had to endure a long and arduous trek to makeshift garages in a multi-storey car park. The old pit-lane buildings served merely as a shelter for the fuel rig, spare parts and computer networks.

To allow for the new extension of the pit area, part of Monaco's harbour has been reclaimed. The track section between the Swimming Pool and the Rascasse corner has been shifted towards the sea, freeing up enough space for a new pit lane, which now runs along the ocean-side of the hill. The pit lane entrance has remained in situ.

The new pit building is a two-storey structure. The garages are downstairs and open to the waterside, and above them are offices. The trees were not sacrificed during the construction project, and some branches run unimpeded through the new building. The timing stands for the teams have remained in place along the start-finish straight, but there is no longer any line of sight from the pits.

Fans will get their first sight of the new pits in action when the 2004 Monaco Grand Prix meeting gets underway on Thursday of this week.