Featured image: From L to R: Asher (19 years), Felix (13 years), Scott (16 years) and Oscar (at front, 8 years) meet Lewis Hamilton at Monaco Grand Prix 2018 (photo: Mercedes)
Written by Rebecca Whitlocke
The Monaco Grand Prix ensures all media attention is on Formula 1’s most glamorous race, as the French Riviera builds up to a 4-day celebration of the iconic race each year. Motorsport fans who have been to the spectacular event, rave about the proximity to race action on the street circuit and the atmosphere in the Principality, as talk turns to the starting grid.
One of the major vantage spots is from the Fairmont Monte-Carlo, where race heritage winds up at the famous Fairmont Hairpin, and it is here that Rebecca Whitlocke from Access Riviera met with the families from Starlight Children’s Foundation.
A race to remember with Starlight Children’s Foundation
Starlight grants once-in-a-lifetime wishes for seriously ill children, restoring the magic and fun of childhood and giving the whole family happy memories to share. As well, they provide play activity in hospitals and hospices throughout the UK, to reduce the impact of serious illness for children and their families.
Arriving on Thursday, the Starlight Children’s Foundation group experienced an action-packed itinerary full of surprises, culminating in watching the main race from the balcony of a VIP Suite at the Fairmont Monte-Carlo.
The group enjoyed visits to the Red Bull Energy Station, the Paddock, pit garages and meeting current Formula 1 drivers including the eventual winner Daniel Ricciardo, Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and former racing driver turned commentator, David Coulthard MBE.
Scott, 16 years of age said: “The best part of Monaco was meeting the drivers. I have so many caps, I’ll need another suitcase to get them home!”
As well as race merchandise such as team caps, the group were gifted goody bags by the Fairmont Monte-Carlo, with a souvenir photo of one of the Grand Prix Suites at the hotel and a customised plaque with their individual name branded underneath the circuit.
Eight-year-old Oscar, who was accompanied by his mother, told us it had been a dream come true. “I met so many drivers and Christian Horner from Red Bull Racing and got their autographs. I’ve had the best time.” Oscar’s mother echoed his sentiments, stating: “We have had an incredible trip and been overwhelmed by the generosity of absolutely everyone.”
The Monaco Grand Prix is synonymous with media headlines about tyre conservation, superyacht parties and celebrities, but it’s also an important platform for charities to get press coverage alongside a high-profile event.
Rebecca enthused: “From the moment I connected with Jasmin Garrett who has the role of a Wish Granter and Gordon Craig, the Director of Fundraising, it became very clear that the once-in-a-lifetime trips are a small component of what Starlight Children’s Foundation provide for families. Starlight Children’s Foundation offers this incredible support network not just for the children but their whole family, and to make these memories is something we can all aspire to.”
While Lewis Hamilton was a clear winner based on the stories and smiles from the Starlight children, Daniel Ricciardo held the lead from start to finish, standing atop the winner’s podium at Monaco for the first time.
Thanks go to Starlight Children’s Foundation for their hospitality and ensuring that this trip was a milestone to remember.
For more information on Starlight, please visit www.starlight.org.uk