I love this story. And the timing is good, too.
The Formula One guys are gathering in Abu Dhabi this weekend for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
So, we were looking for ways to localize the big motors story, and our sports columnist, Ali Khaled, came up with this 5-year-old Emirati kindergartner who races go-karts and dreams of driving for Ferrari — and winning championships for the UAE.
Kid’s name is Rashid Al Dhaheri, and his father is a senior executive for Adnoc, the company that distributes gasoline products in the emirate.
Two years ago, when Rashid was 3, he went to the Abu Dhabi GP and hung around the pits one day, and he already was a fan of all things Ferrari, and he spent a lot of time in the paddock, just watching things go on, at Prancing Horse Lane, and on the way home the kid announced to his father that he was going to drive Ferrari. And win championships for the UAE.
The whole of that story, 1,400 words but worth the read, can be found here.
Little kids, boys especially, often development a deep attachment to a concept or a movie or a set of toys. And then they dwell in that world for large chunks of time and deconstruct it, and want to share it with everyone.
Little Rashid seems to be one of those kids.
He has Ferrari gear all over his bedroom. He has a Ferrari-style race suit he wears when he is driving his kart.
He is getting support from his father, too. Rashid spent two months, this summer, in Italy getting special training, and went to the Ferrari headquarters in Maranello, Italy. To hang out.
His favorite driver is Fernando Alonso, of Ferrari, of course, and he seems to be very excited that some other kids call him “Little Alonso”.
And his slogan? “Full gas, no brake.” No Nascar runt could have put it any better.
Anyway, a fun story, with a little kid who might actually turn out to be the first Emirati to drive in F1.
Report by Paul Oberjuerge
Original Report: The 5-Year-Old Racecar Driver