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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.