We’re on the verge of the Canadian Grand Prix marshal recruitment process. This process is a little different to say Singapore GP which has a narrow window of recruitment in the month of March that is strictly enforced. Canada is looser. Recruitment starts in early March and runs through April. I think the first time I applied it was May before I sent my application for the June event. But as with anything, the earlier you start planning the more prepared you will be.
My favorite features of the event include a number of things that are unique to the Canadian GP. For example, you are rotated through three different station assignments over the three day event. That’s cool! Especially if you have a crappy station assignment on the first day, it will without a doubt improve for qualifying or the race. Similarly, if you get a really good station assignment on the first day, it’s balanced out with something different to experience.
There are two official languages in Quebec: English and French. Or better put French is the primary language but most everybody speaks excellent English. This is evident on comms should you have the radio at any point during the event. Stations communicate with Race Control in their native tongue, so you will hear plenty of French and plenty of English. For any polyglots out there, it’s an excellent way to practice calls in (or at least hearing them) in a foreign language. Canadian GP is always a great place to get used to French on your way to Le Mans per se.
Canadian GP does not issue overalls like most other GP’s. You bring your own Whites or Oranges. I guess most flaggers do wear White. But I’ve seen plenty of Canadians, especially those working recovery wearing Orange. The weather could get cold and rainy so definitely bring wet weather gear. They do provide a great looking event polo-shirt and other knick-knacks. But there is a $30CAD fee to participate. Register at:
Some photos from my two years there (photos I got in trouble for):
Registration call for marshals wishing to volunteer the 2014 Canadian Grand Prix taking place this June at the beautiful Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec is now open and you are encouraged to sign up! Canadian GP is a fantastic event, one of my favorites in fact… with great action on track, beautiful host city to explore, and amazing food to taste… like the local delicacy: “poutine”!
The application process is handled via e-mail and I’m happy to recommend anyone interested. Just send me a facebook message and I’ll refer you to the right person.
Be advised however that the event is taking a serious stance against photo taking when cars are on track, for which I have personally gotten in trouble for at past events. So please take the warnings seriously.
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve web site: http://www.circuitgillesvilleneuve.ca/
After another secondary secutrity check and search of my car, I’m back in Quebéc for the Canadian F1 Grand Prix. This event I am working the light panel. The station line up include: turn 4 Friday, turn 9B on Saturday, and turn 14 on Sunday. Yes! The Wall of Champions turn 14.
It will be an exciting weekend, though it rained today and may again rain tomorrow.
Not happy that I did not get to do the pit walk as promissed and the fact I tore my rain pants that split down the middle as I tried to climb the wall to get to station, ugh!
Got to check out the media center which was cool.
Great news again, I’ve been accepted to marshal the 2013 Grand Prix du Canada, at the beautiful Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Ile Notre-Dame in Montréal, Quebec. Next step is to pay the $30 CAD fee to volunteer and start making travel arrangements.
The beauty of the Canadian GP is that as marshals we get to work several different posts and positions over the race weekend. I was lucky last year to work turn 8, turn 14 – the infamous “Wall of Champions” and turn 4a over the three days there, and besides flagging, working safety and comms, got to see action from a number of different angles. The Thursday night party organized by a few American marshals at Hurley’s Bar was pretty cool too, especially since Will Buxton was the guest of honor hanging out with the marshals.
Looking forward to a busy June schedule 🙂
I did not go to Canada to volunteer, because even that is considered working and will result in a lengthy search of your vehicle at the border followed by a thorough interrogation. Leaving your marshal gear in the trunk is probably the strongest case against you but its not illegal to go watch the race while staying with friends in Montreal, and I had a blast watching the race up close… my third F1 GP this season.
Now thanks to the aforementioned friends I was able to have a wonderful time hanging out with all the international marshals Thursday evening at Hurley’s Pub on Rue Crescent. Will Buxton made an appearance and raffled off a bunch of stuff including my donation of a Mark Webber photo book I picked up at the Australian GP. An enjoyable evening.
Friday, the only day when it rained, I found myself closest to turn 8. Saturday was the most interesting at turn 14 above the infamous wall of champions and Sunday at the quiet turn 4A though on a hot and sunny day it was perfect there in the shade. Now if I were to volunteer there as my Canadian twin-cousin did, I’d enjoy the experience greatly because unlike other F1 events in Canada everything goes through rotation. Each of the three days teams get moved around from turn to turn so you are never stuck at one position for the entire weekend. Teams themselves rotate also, so even though one might find themselves on one international team, the members rotate to different turns based on some assignment criteria. Furthermore, within the team marshals rotate through various roles. For example one may be on comms for a support race, switch to yellow or blue flag during another race, go on recovery for F1 to be activated for a debris run, and so on. All roles were absolutely fantastic and give you an unprecedented experience you won’t get anywhere else.
So Canada, merci! See you again next year