Grid kids, Baku City Circuit, 201

F1 not charging families for ‘grid kid’ privileges

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In the round-up: Following reports that some English Premier League football teams charge families as much as £700 excluding costs for their children to act as mascots, RaceFans approached Formula One Management to enquire whether it charges similar fees for its comparable ‘Future Stars’ programme.

A FOM spokesperson told RaceFans the Future Stars do not have to pay for their opportunity.

“The ASN [national motor sport club] and promoter select them based on karting merit and from local schools in the community. The parents and grid kids get themselves to the circuit and in return they have the pride of representing their country on the grid, sing their national anthem, keep the suit, shoes and cap and get tickets for them and a parent to watch the race.”

Future Stars was introduced at the beginning of last season as a joint initiative between FOM and the FIA.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Is now the wrong time for a change at the top at Ferrari?

Very harsh if he is pushed out, and potentially a mistake. In 2017 and 2018 Ferrari had a genuine title contending car for the first time in almost a decade (since 2008, only in 2010 was the car reasonable). This year the problem was mostly on Vettel’s side, so Ferrari were clearly on the right path.
Pedro Andrade

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  • 27 comments on “F1 not charging families for ‘grid kid’ privileges”

    1. i hope that verizon no longer been the primary sponsor for indycar will finally mean the end of things such as live streaming onboard cameras been locked behind the verizon network as it was always annoying to hear them talk about checking out the indycar app for live onboard video which many people didn’t have access to because of verizon.

      1. Wait, for seeing live onboards in the IndyCar app you had to be on only the Verizon network? Wow, you folks in the US are really having to bend over for your carriers.

        1. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
          8th January 2019, 9:47

          Yep. Just wait until somebody mentions the words net neutrality. In the US there is an ongoing debate on whether an internet connection should be neutral towards the content it transfers or not. In other words: whether Verizon’s internet could be different from AT&T’s, Swifts, etc. If that was the case over here in Europe, I don’t think I would have used the internet in the same way as I do now.

          Oh, and by the way, from what I heard US subscriptions are also way more expensive than Europe’s. But I don’t know. For comparison: I have a cheap but decent DSL connection and I pay less than €25/mo.

    2. Abiteboul said that having a race-winning driver on board put Renault in a trajectory to be able to win something now. I hope Hulkenberg didn’t read that article.

      I didn’t think it’s fair to Hulkenberg who has done better season than Ricciardo last year.

      1. @ruliemaulana – agreed, that sentence neatly threw the Hulk under a bus.

        1. The problem is Abiteboul was never quoted in the article to say anything like this! @ruliemaulana @phylyp

          He merely mentioned that they “feel now this obligation to come up with an engine and a chassis that will be capable of giving what that guy deserves” (as a race-winning driver).

          1. what are you saying? It’s all Abiteboul?

            (c’mon let this one pass)

          2. @coldfly That even harsher. It’s like saying he didn’t feel any obligation to provide a good car before a Ricciardo or someone with Alonso caliber join in.

          3. @coldfly – Yeah, while @ruliemaulana took a liberty (no pun intended!) with the exact words, I agree with his follow-up reply that the gist of it is broadly the same: Ric is the first driver that Renault feel they should really be pulling out the stops for. That is a pretty shabby attitude.

            1. @ruliemaulana, @phylyp, I think we (in this case ‘you’) are too critical of the words of the team principals.
              Firstly, IMO his answers make perfect sense if you read the full article.
              Secondly, they all say that they will improve, ‘give 110%’, ‘find an extra gear’, just to say that they know they are not good enough yet.
              Thirdly, I’d rather have ‘a bit of bull’ – @johnmilk ;) – than (ex) team principals with principles to share nothing.

            2. @coldfly – fair enough, its a bit open to interpretation either way, I’d say.

              I’d rather have ‘a bit of bull’

              Just bull, or Red Bull? ;-)

            3. @coldfly Firstly, in my first language, ‘we with I’ is kita, ‘we with I but may/may not including you’ is kami, and ‘we without I’ is kalian.
              Secondly, I agree with your thirdly.

      2. A callously worded statement, but I would attribute it more to English being Cyril’s second language. No team principal would be foolish enough to speak against a fan favourite driver with many months on his contract.

        He needs to walk around with a PR rep to give better sound bytes though.

      3. I had a similar thought, although I tend to agree that it’s probably badly worded rather than malicious.
        To say the Hulkenberg outperformed Ricciardo last year though is a bit of a stretch. I suspect that he’ll perform a lot better this year now he has Ricciardo as a measuring stick.
        It’s great that Renault staff are excited but I fear the excitement may wane very quickly if they don’t produce the goods come testing in February.

        1. F1 is a constant work in progress, so for me there is nothing wrong with what Abiteboul is saying. It’s not like they haven’t been trying, but now with a proven race winner on board they feel more weight to coming up with a good car, just as the opposite is the case when lesser teams throughout the years have often admitted they can’t attract a top driver until they have a more competitive package and one that can be progressed further with said driver’s help. Renault’s job is to hopefully have progressed the car in the off-season, and to then ply the new duo of NH and DR to help progress it. I think DR’s role particularly could be great for them in that he knows what their Pu feels like in a Newey level car, so I think his input could be really helpful from that angle. Feels like a fresh new chapter for them.

    3. “RaceFans approached Formula One Management to enquire whether it charges similar fees for its comparable ‘Future Stars’ programme.
      A FOM spokesperson told RaceFans: “We don’t pay for the grid kids.”

      You asked if they charged and they replied they didn’t pay… Hope this is the most nonsensical thing I read here this year… ;-)

      1. Fair point, I’ll clear that up.

        1. I’m your unofficial copy-checker – No charge… ;-)

    4. I couldn’t agree more with the COTD. The problem last season indeed was mostly on Vettel’s side rather than the team’s, so maybe a bit hasty decision.

      The last paragraph of the Motorsport Magazine-article, though:
      ”Giorgio then drew the wheel and wrote about the extra control that it featured. The following day Arrivabene accosted Piola, growled menaces at him, drew himself close up to his face and promised that he would see to it Piola would lose work. The incident gave a good measure of the man.” – LOL.

      1. @jerejj that’s not the last paragraph, but it is an interesting part of the story. It’s interesting how the journos are almost universally weighing in on this – hughes may have a point (that being an aggressive figure is not conducive to good management) but also it seems like the man who is not friendly to journalists is now getting gleefully panned by journalists.

        the F1 world is small and an outsider like Arrivabene would appear to have failed to adjust to its playground. it’s all a bit Partiramale now…

      2. Since we don’t know that man @jerejj, @frood19, we have to take it from the journalists that they do. I can imagine that some are happy to see him go for the communication.

        Then again, wasn’t it Marchionne who installed the strategy of not talking to the press at all? I am pretty sure that Arrivabene cannot have been a successfull Marlboro MARKETING man for years, as he used to be before taking the Ferrari role, and not figuring that trying to ignore the press can only backfire. Didn’t he start relaxing the “no talking” thing in recent months too?

        Seems people might be taking things out on the wrong person.

        1. @bascb good point. actually, dieter’s article on this site is much more nuanced and informative, which I hadn’t read earlier. it seems like mark hughes just fired off something in a mad rush and it reads like a bit of a diatribe.

          1. Mark Hughes is part of Sky’s anti-Ferrari brigade

    5. Disagree with the COTD. Initially I thought it was harsh on Arrivabene but thinking about it for longer, I think it was the right choice.

      Arrivabene did some good stuff for Ferrari. They looked the most competetive they have for a while, and clearly the behind the scenes stuff he did’s benefitted them a lot. Personally though I agree with people pointing out Vettel was trying to run the team as much as drive the car, which shows quite a lack of faith in the team & Arrivabene, and must have led to him overdriving and making mistakes. Regardless of driver error, the team was still making terrible strategy choices, being unable to learn from them and Arrivabene himself was pretty fine with blaming everyone else but himself.

      Is the good worth the bad? To be honest I think Ferrari could build a rocketship and still lose because of their terrible choices, so having someone at the top that can cut those out and give his drivers trust in the team would be a wise idea. If F1’s all about tenths of seconds worth of advantage maybe that’s all it’ll take.

      1. @rocketpanda I agree with you and also disagree with the cotd. I hadn’t realized the level of friction between SV and Arrivabene, and that certainly changes the tone for me. I’m not saying SV is to be excused for his mistakes, but I just now have more of a sense of a disharmony on the team, and that represents a weak link in the chain, and against Mercedes a weak link is going to show sooner or later.

    6. Interesting notion that the Premier league acutally charges kids and their families for the “privilege of collecting the balls”.

      It is right that these kids are not charged by Liberty – and that their families can attend without charges. Afterall, they are invited to represent their country. In return for that they get the chance to see the paddock up close, be inspired, maybe get a contact here or there to help them further their motorsport dreams. And over time, that builds up the sport.

      Does go to show how football/soccer still has a huge advantage with it’s popularity that so many people are willing to pay to help out the organizers. A bit like Marshalls not only working for free but actually paying for the “honour” of being part of things.

    7. F1 is getting quite adept at taking something already a bad idea(kids) and making them worse(grid kids).

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