This past weekend, 20 young racers got the opportunity to not only meet their Formula 1 racing idols, but also to stand among them for the national anthem before the start of the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Canada in Montreal, Quebec.
Following their reactions through their social medias, it was obvious this was a once in a lifetime experience these young pilots will never forget. Tracking down as many as we could, here are their reactions from the amazing weekend in Montreal.
We are thankful to have our governing body, ASN Canada FIA, help make all of this happens to support our young racers. Not all countries select kart racers for their Grid Kids, but for the last two years, Paul and Cheri Cooke have ensured our sports youth get this wonderful opportunity.
“It was really cool to be in the grid and walk past the F1 cars and have the drivers so close. Then after we went to the paddock, I got some pictures with my favourite driver Daniel Ricciardo and also Max Verstappen and David Coulthard. I am very thankful for the experience and would totally do it all over again.”
“I’ve been lucky enough to grow up around the track. Actually, I took my first lap of a racetrack (Goodwood Kartways) in the car seat of my parents Volvo XC90 the same day I was released from the hospital at birth.
At a much younger age I watched my dad race at Watkins Glen, Limerock, Daytona, Laguna Seca and others and over the last few years I’ve made it to the Toronto Indy a few times but this weekend was the first time I got to see, hear and feel what Formula 1 is all about. Breathtaking, unbelievable, simply put AMAZING!
Being at the circuit and seeing the cars live was special enough but the Grid Kids experience made it a weekend I will never forget.
A true VIP experience being part of the show with thousands and thousands of fans cheering us on. Meeting some of my idols, touching the cars, goosebumps during the national anthem and being able to sit in the same press room as the eventual winners were all highlights of the day.
Being able to share the experience with family and some of my best friends from the kart track was very cool. Thank you to ASN Canada FIA and Formula 1 for making it the best day ever!”
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Imagine this….. . . #onedayatatime #dreambig #futurestars #f1 #formula1 #career #athletes #sports #kartingtocars #motorsports #youth #karting #becausekarting . . @fittipaldiracing @f1 @fia.official @emersonfittipaldioficial @_karting_for_passion_ @ckn_live @goodwoodkartways
“My experience of being an F1 Grid Kid was extraordinary. To have access to the paddock, the lane of the pits and being among the pilots I felt that I was part of Formula 1. In addition, we visited the press room used for the conferences with the drivers and team managers. The national anthem with the drivers and the F18 jets who passed over our heads was sick. Who knows, maybe in ten years it will be my turn to be the driver of a young grid kid.”
Scott Hetherington on behalf of Bronson Hetherington:
“Bronson’s weekend as a Grid Kid at the Canadian Grand Prix had him smiling ear to ear. The highlights for him were driving down the race track in a school bus just before the race and arriving at the starting grid to packed grandstands and a pit lane full of media, mechanics and fans. His tour of the paddock and press conference room made him feel special as it sunk in that he was actually part of the big event.
He was so proud to put on the race suit, hat and race shoes that they were given as he made his way onto the starting grid to stand in front of Canadian driver Lance Stroll during the anthem. Bronson was well poised but you could see the excitement and amazement in his face as he had his head on a swivel checking out all of the behind the scenes action. A weekend he will never forget!”
“I wanted to let you know I had a great time at the Grand Prix of Montreal. Wearing a Formula 1 outfit and standing on the grid in front of thousands of people and TV cameras made me feel a little bit nervous, but excited at the same time. Seeing my face on TV was very cool and is something I’ll never forget. Lots of people at home said they saw me. It was pretty incredible. I hope the rest of the kids had just as good of a time as I did. Thank you to everybody that made this happen.”
“It was a weekend that I will never forget! It was just beyond what I expected, from watching practice through to Qualifying to race day was amazing. Unbelievable, it was just so fast and the testing and tuning were non stop.
The morning of the race we were brought into a room where they called each of us up to tell us what driver we had and whom we were going to be on the grid with. They gave us custom fitted F1 Puma drivers suits, hat and shoes – which was stellar and very generous. We got our drivers suits on and went to the grid.
We were brought out to the grid to stand with the drivers for opening ceremonies and it was overwhelming to see the crowd, over 300,000 people clapping. My heart was pumping with excitement. I was paired up with driver Alexander Albon of Torro Rosso and he said hello and shook my hand. A moment I will never forget! It was absolutely amazing to be standing on the grid, staring at the crowds with the F1 drivers, I was so proud.
The F1 president Chase Carey also came over and introduced himself and shook our hands welcoming us. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to meet the drivers and talk with them because of the hot laps.
And lastly, I wish we could have brought our karts to race there. I hope to be on that circuit racing a formula 1 car one day.
Eric Coulombe on behalf of Vincent Coulombe:
“Vincent now 7 years old started karting two years ago. Vincent had the chance last year to make the Grid Kid for the NASCAR Pintys series at the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières for Marc-Antoine Camirand. He had loved his experience and was hoping to be chosen for F1 in Montreal in 2019! Vincent was very impressed with the infrastructure that the pits could have and the protocols that he and his friends had to respect. What luck to have been paired with Lewis Hamilton. It was a great experience that he hopes to enjoy again one day!”
We will add more to this page as we receive them.