Miami GP ahead of premiere: Liberty’s new prestige project

Not least thanks to the Netflix hit “Drive to Survive”, Formula 1 is experiencing an unexpected boom, especially in the States. The US F1 owners of Liberty Media have long been committed to making better use of the domestic market: the contract with Austin/Texas was extended by five years, and another race in the players’ paradise Las Vegas (from 2023) was recently announced .

First, however, is Liberty’s latest prestige object: from May 6th to 8th, Formula 1 will be making a guest appearance in Miami for the first time. For years, the F1 makers tried to bring the premier class to the Sunshine State, but in the end it only worked with massive concessions.

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Because originally Downtown was supposed to be driven in the city – right on the water, over bridges and in the shadow of the imposing skyline of high-rise buildings. A race around Bayfront Park, where Formula E has also stopped, would have been a unique spectacle, comparable only to the Marina Bay Circuit in Singapore.

However, lawsuits from residents and business operators blocked the plans. To save the Grand Prix, they moved more than ten kilometers outside the glittering coastal metropolis to Miami Gardens, a rather socially disadvantaged neighborhood with a predominantly African American population, 20 percent of whom live below the poverty line.

The “marina”.

There, too, the lawsuits against the race were not long in coming. Alone: ​​Here they were mostly rejected. Recently, a last-minute attempt to stop the race because of potential noise pollution failed. Now the Grand Prix, which somehow nobody really wants in Miami, is taking place: on the so-called Miami International Autodrome.

Newsabc has already looked at the route on site, and the disappointment is great. Huge gray asphalt surfaces predominate around the area: Fast-food bars, Walmart branches and drabness come and go. Unfortunately, the course itself is not very different. There are no differences in altitude, and of the modern F1 circuits, the 5.410-kilometre circuit is most reminiscent of the unloved Sochi Autodrom, which with its gray concrete canals leads through the orphaned Olympic complex.

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Inevitably, memories of Caesars Palace are also awakened: in the parking lot of the casino of the same name in Las Vegas, the premier class held its season finale in 1981 and 1982, and to this day the circuit is considered one of the worst Formula 1 tracks of all time (humped track, desert sand, extreme heat). In Miami, too, people drive on a huge parking lot, that of Hard Rock Stadium, where the Miami Dolphins of the NFL usually play.

For the F1 premiere in 2022, the actually boring area is now being pimped up with all sorts of event locations: Hospitality tents from sponsors and teams stretch along the entire route, as well as an artificial beach and swimming pools. It looks more like a hastily built luxury hotel resort than a race track. This is where the deals are made at the weekend, while a car race is also taking place along the way.

After all, the eponymous main sponsor of the race is a large cryptocurrency platform. Striking: At over 600 dollars, even the cheapest tickets along the route are far above the usual F1 average price, even compared to glamor GPs like in Monte Carlo.

The best example that thanks to the big advertising drum at the Miami GP there is something different inside than what is on the outside is the artificial marina. Pictures are circulating online these days showing a few boats next to asphalt painted blue. The ridicule is not long in coming: “A fake marina to imitate Monaco. That only exists in S***** Florida,” tweeted a user. Another shares one of the original in Monaco next to said picture. Signature: “What you ordered… and what you get.”

Incidentally, Formula 1 last drove in Florida in 1959 on the Sebring airfield circuit. Would she have preferred to go back there?

Formula 1 on TV

In 2022, Formula 1 will run on Sky. Last year, the broadcaster introduced a new TV channel especially for the premier class: Sky Formula 1. Here there is motorsport 24 hours a day. All practice sessions, all qualifying sessions, all races are always live and without commercial breaks. In addition, Sky also broadcasts the support races Formula 2, Formula 3 and the Porsche Supercup. The program also includes historic races and special programs.

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