Love it or hate it, the Miami F1 event this weekend has caused shockwaves in the land of the free. IndyCar drivers have been asked to compare this circus to their own more modest race week events. DJ’s and celebs are in abundance and the 80,000 privileged few each day saw dramatic action on track.
But the cost of setting up this ‘temporary’ venue is eye watering and reflected in the ticket prices.
General admission on Friday started at $300 and is over $500 on race day. The cheapest grandstand tickets at $640 are second only in price this season to Monaco.
Yet both Lando Norris and Sergio Perez have been critical of the surface grip away from the racing line.
Following a solid FP2 which saw Sergio Perez finish P3, the Mexican observed “I am really disappointed there is no grip off-line. It’s a shame because I think the racing will be bad due to that. As soon as you try to go off-line, there is no grip.”
McLaren’s Lando Norris concluded, “you go off line and it’s terrible so I feel like it’s not going to be great for racing now.”
Whatever the hype and whichever celebs attend, Miami will be judged on whether the racing is any good.
F1 has raced at 11 different venues over 70 years of travelling to the USA, many of them remembered for classic moments. Yet the established circuits in the USA used by their national motorsports divisions are not up to FIA certification standards for F1.
This aside, the wise old hand on the grid observed today, “but the money spent to build this could have easily brought the standard up in great places like Road America,” commented Sebastian Vettel.
F1 in Miami may be great for the privileged few allowed in to watch the event this weekend in South Florida’s sin city, but the commercial rights owners may have missed a trick by not returning a previous classic circuit or even as Vettel suggests upgrading Road America.