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Paddock Club Diaries - 2019 Canadian GP - Day 2

Its an early start on Saturday for the teams with Pit Stop Practice followed by the final free practice of the weekend and Qualifying. Qualifying determines the starting order / grid for the race on Sunday. Alfa Romeo had a tough Friday. Did their fortunes improve on Saturday? Were Ferrari able to capitalize on their pace advantage and come out on top on Saturday?

The organisers had built a new Paddock Club facility for the circuit ( spending around 20 million Dollars! ), so it was nice to be a part of this inaugural weekend.

Lets have a quick recap of how the day unfolded.


Enroute to the Circuit :


The Boat Ride to the Paddock Club :


The Boat drops the guests right outside the entrance of the Paddock and sure enough you meet a lot of famous faces in F1.

Nicholas Latifi, Rokit Williams Racing F1 Team Reserve Driver 


Brendan Hartley, Reserve Driver for Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team :


Lance Stroll, Driver for Racing Point F1 Team :


Coffee & Croissants anyone?


Shots from FP3 ;


Alfa Romeo Racing during FP3 :


The Pitwalls of all teams hard at work :


Cars returning to the Pits after FP3 ( Video Link ) :



Sebastian Vettel was fastest from Charles LeClerc and Lewis Hamilton in FP3. Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen were P15 and P16 respectively.


Shortly after FP3 it was time for Lunch and the Pit Lane walk of the day.

Lunch, truly a global affair!


The Pit Lane Walk before Qualifying :


Selfie time with the GoPro Hero 7 Black :


Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Team Pit Stop Practice ( Video Link ) :



After a quick visit to the Pit Lane, I rushed back upstairs to be in time for the Podium visit. F1 Experiences takes its guests behind the scenes for a quick visit to the Cool Down Room ( a place where the top 3 Drivers are weighed and unwind after a gruelling race before heading out onto the Podium ).

The winner on the Top Step of the Podium. Since the Paddock Club has been revamped in Montreal so no one else has stood here before. We were among the first.


The View from the Podium. The area would be packed by Photographers, team members and fans after the race on Sunday!


Time for Qualifying! Shots from Q1 :


Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Team during Q1 :


Chequered Flag :


Kimi Raikkonen was knocked out in Q1 :( a big big disappointment. The Alfa just wasn't quick enough. Giovinazzi scraped through in 15th. Sebastian Vettel was fastest in Q1 from Charles LeClerc and Valtteri Bottas.


Q2 underway :


Antonio Giovinazzi during Q2 :


Kevin Magnussen crashed on his final run in Q2. He did go through Q3 but would take no further part.


Giovinazzi finished in P13. Max Verstappen didn't make it to Q3 either and that was a big surprise. Lewis Hamilton was fastest in Q2 from Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel. 


Q3 underway :


And that is the end of Qualifying :


Sebastian Vettel grabbed pole from Lewis Hamilton and Charles LeClerc. Finally Ferrari had something to cheer about on Saturday.

Cars returning to Parc-ferme  for Post-Qualifying Interviews :


Sebastian Vettel in great mood at the Scuderia Ferrari F1 Suite :


Pierre Gasly, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing F1 Team :


Nice to see Memorabilia, Posters,Car displays and even Ice Hockey in the Paddock Club. Adds to the Ambience and brings a different kind of freshness and vibe.


Some Stills from the Porsche Cup :


It was time to say goodbye to the Paddock Club and hang around for a bit downstairs. The decision turned out to be quite fruitful, evident from the pictures that follow!

Sergio Perez, Sportpesa Racing Point F1 Team :


Matia Binotto, Team Principal for Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team :


Mr. Lawrence Stroll, Billionaire & Lance Stroll's Father :


Daniel Ricciardo, Renault Sport F1 Team :


Alexander Albon, Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Team :


Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal for Renault Sport F1 Team :


Christian Horner, Team Principal for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing F1 Team :


Adrian Newey, The Guru of Aerodynamics and Chief Technical Officer for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing F1 Team :


Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal for Sportpesa Racing Point F1 Team :


Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team :


Francois, a dear friend from Renault Sport F1 Team :


Paul Ripke, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team official photographer :


Robert Kubica from Rokit Williams Racing F1 Team :


Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team :


Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing F1 Team :


Back to the Hotel :


It was an enjoyable Saturday in the Paddock Club ( barring the Qualifying result for the Alfa Romeos ofcourse ). It would be a Long Sunday Afternoon for Kimi & Antonio but all hope wasn't lost for a good points finish. Once again thank you to Edge Global Events for organizing the passes. 


Sunday Experience up next!

Paddock Club Diaries - 2019 Canadian GP - Day 1

The Canadian GP is held in the city of Montreal in the state of Quebec and has been on my to-do list for a long time. The Opportunity finally came in 2019, my first race of the season. Kimi Raikkonen had switched teams to Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Team for 2019 and the "Italian Stallion" Antonio Giovinazzi would be his team-mate. I decided to try the F1 Experiences Legends since Alfa Romeo wasn't having a hospitality of their own.

The "Paddock Club Diaries" make a return and this was Day 1 ( Friday ) from the 2019 Canadian GP.


The Race Passes for the Weekend :


McLaren Racing F1 Team were staying at the same hotel and it was nice to meet Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr.

Lando Norris! 


Carlos Sainz Jr.!


The Race Passes were made available trackside from Thursday and picking these up on Friday Morning was a bad bad decision. The pickup location was pretty poor and a good 20 minute shuttle bus ride away from the Casino entry point, the place of entry for Paddock Club Guests. This is something they must have a relook at.


Enroute to the Circuit :


The Circuit is on an island and the only way to get to the Paddock Area is via a boat! Now that is one way to arrive!


The F1 Experiences Suite at the Race :


The View from the Suite :


The traffic problems, time spent to collect passes and head to the Paddock meant that I missed the start of Free Practice 1.

Shots from Free Practice 1 :


Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Team during FP1 :


VSC deployed after an incident on Track


Cars returning to the Pit Lane until the Track gets clear again :


The cars go back out again :


Haas F1 Team Pit Stop Practice ( Video Link ) :



Renault Sport F1 Team Pit Stop Practice ( Video Link ) :



Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Team back ontrack :


Chequered Flag to bring an end to FP1 :


Cars returning to the Pits :


Lewis Hamilton was fastest in FP1 from Valtteri Bottas and Charles LeClerc. Kimi Raikkonen was P6 and Antonio Giovinazzi P14 for Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Team.


The Paddock in unwind after FP1 as Track is prepared for the Ferrari Challenge Cars :


Esteban Gutierrez, test driver for Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team!

It was also time to head downstairs for the Pitlane Walk of the Day :


The Pit Lane Walk :


Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Team Garage :


Some Selfies with the GoPro Hero 7 Black :


The Pit Lane walk ended and we made our way back to the Paddock Club :


Lunch is Served :


Free Practice 2 followed shortly after. Charles LeClerc was the fastest from Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas. Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi were P16 and P18 respectively.


Shots from Free Practice 2 :


Renault Sport F1 Team Pit Stop ( Video Link ) :



Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Team during FP2 :


Chequered Flag!


Time for the Boys to return to the Pits :


One of my friends was the Physio & Trainer for one of the Drivers in Ferrari Challenge ( Ferrari Club Miami ) and I decided to head across the lake to say a quick hello. It was a nice feeling to have the whole boat to myself! These Boats would ferry guests from the Paddock Club entrance to the Support Race Paddock and back.


The Ferrari Challenge Cars heading down to the track for their Qualifying Session :


Video Link :



The Support Race Paddock :


The last activity of the day for the Paddock Club Guests was the much awaited Paddock Club Track Truck Tour! The Guests board 2 trucks which take them for a lap around the track accompanied by a Paddock Club Host and a Professional Racer ( here an ex-GP2 driver ). 


The Track Truck Tour! 


Shots with the Samsung Note 9 :


Selfie time!


That was an amazing Track Truck Tour!


Video Link of the Entire Truck Tour ( Apologies for the shaky video ) :



It was now time to say goodbye to the Paddock Club and head back to the parking. However I decided to stop for sometime outside the Paddock Gates and surely enough, I met a couple of the drivers!

Charles LeClerc, Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team :


Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team :


Walking back to the Transfer back to the city :


Returning to the hotel :


I returned to the city and I must say that Montreal loves F1. The city was abuzz with activity all through the night.

I was walking down to see a friend over dinner and came across a Plethora of beauties along the way!


It was a great Friday at the Canadian Grand Prix. Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi had mediocre days at the wheel and it was pretty evident that the race on Sunday would be one long afternoon. I still had hopes for Qualifying. A big Thank you to Edge Global Events for organizing the Passes for the weekend.

The Saturday experience follows soon, so watch this space.

A Gallery of Memories - Part 18

The "Gallery of Memories" makes a return in 2019, this time with photos from the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix weekend. I had the privilege of being in Montreal for the race and meeting the F1 Fraternity. 

I was a guest of F1 Experiences this time in the Legends Suite and had Full Day Paddock Access on Sunday.



Lando Norris, McLaren F1 Racing Team :


Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren F1 Racing Team :


Esteban Gutierrez, Former F1 Driver and Reserve Driver for Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team :


Charles LeClerc, Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team!


Pierre Gasly, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing F1 Team :


Brendan Hartley, Reserve Driver for Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team :


Lance Stroll, Driver for Racing Point F1 Team :


Nicolas Latifi, Reserve Driver for Rokit Williams Racing F1 Team :


Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Driver :


Sergio Perez, Racing Point F1 Team :


Matia Binotto, Team Principal for Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team :


Lawrence Stroll :


Daniel Ricciardo, Renault Sport F1 Team :


Alexander Albon, Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Team :


Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal for Renault Sport F1 Team :


Christian Horner, Team Principal for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing F1 Team :


Adrian Newey, The Guru of Aerodynamics and Chief Technical Officer for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing F1 Team :


Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal for Racing Point F1 Team :


Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team :


Francois, a dear friend from Renault Sport F1 Team :


Paul Ripke, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team official photographer :


Robert Kubica from Rokit Williams Racing F1 Team :


Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team :


Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing F1 Team :


Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Team Manager Beat Zehnder!


Josef Leberer from Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Team :


Tom Stallard, Race Engineer for Carlos Sainz Jr. in McLaren Racing F1 Team :


Julien Simon-Chautemps, Kimi Raikkonen Race Engineer in Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Team :


Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Team :


Mr. Giorgio Piola, Journalist, Technical Artist and Watchmaker!


Fredric Vasseur, Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Team Principal :


Jacques Villeneuve, 1997 F1 World Champion and Sky Sports F1 Italia Presenter :


Sir Franz Tost, Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Team Principal :


Max Verstappen! Driver for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing F1 Team :


Antonio Giovinazzi! Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Team :


Ruth Buscombe from Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Team :


2009 F1 World Champion Jenson Button!


Kimi Raikkonen!! Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Team now!


Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team :


The Paddock Club Diaries from the race weekend follows next. Watch this Space!