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Why the Miami Grand Prix Did Not Do Formula 1 Justice

Written by Kitty Tunstall, Edited by Elisabeth Brown

Credit: Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images

The Miami Grand Prix was an eagerly anticipated event for the Formula 1 fanbase, with many excited to witness the new track and event. However, despite the influx of what felt like every celebrity in the world and the lavish pool parties, the Miami race did not do the Formula 1 community any justice.

In the weeks leading up to the race it became apparent that the Miami event organisers were going to try and channel the historic Monaco Grand Prix with its beautiful and luxurious seafront views. However, instead, they created what fans dubbed a “knock off Monaco” with yachts resting on fake, vinyl water to make it appear as though the boats were on the marina. In addition, ticket prices to the so-called “Yacht Club” ranged from $9,500 to a whopping $38,000, despite the marina being fake.

Credit: Sky Sports F1

Fans even went so far as to make memes about the spectacle:

Credit: @ricchelsea (Twitter)

Many fans also felt that the event was more focused on the celebrities who were attending, rather than the sport itself. While spotting celebrities at a Grand Prix is a regular occurrence, the sheer level of A-listers at Miami was highly distracting.

Tickets to the event were very expensive and limited, and sports marketing companies bought around 50 percent of the ticket allocation, gifting them to celebrities such as Michelle Obama, James Corden and the Williams sisters. Unfortunately, this meant that regular F1 fans were unable to attend the event. Moreover, many of the celebrities who attended have openly admitted that they were not fans of the sport but instead were more interested in the party.

Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

American DJ, Diplo, was one of many celebrities at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix and announced, “I don’t care about Formula 1 at all, but I care about parties.” If this is not insulting enough to the fans who were unable to purchase tickets, he then admitted that he walked out of the event because it was “stressful” and he “couldn't get any vibe.”

Finally, and arguably the most important failure of the event; the track was unsafe and lacked quality. Ahead of the race the track had to be resurfaced twice, yet it still caused a sufficient amount of problems for the drivers. Fernando Alonso was among those who disapproved of the circuit, referring to the track as “substandard.” Similarly, Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez called it a “joke” while Lando Norris accused circuit designers of “winging” it.

The grip was another major cause for irritation, with Max Verstappen, who nearly crashed out of qualifying, revealing that the grip of the racing line felt “almost like gravel.” Moreover, Valtteri Bottas commented on the grip, noting that there was only one line with grip on the circuit which made “it a bit more tricky for overtaking.”

While the quality of the circuit caused much controversy, Esteban Ocon found that there was a distinct lack of safety procedures in place for the drivers. The Frenchman shunted his Alpine into a concrete barrier and later slammed the lack of protection on the barrier as “unacceptable.”

The combination of the aforementioned points gave no doubt that the Miami Grand Prix was different from what we, as fans, are used to; however, it undeniably made a lasting impression.


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