Was the Miami Grand Prix a success for Formula One?11 May
Was the Miami Grand Prix a success for Formula One?
Formula One finally made its long-awaited Grand Prix debut in Miami, Florida, last weekend.
Max Verstappen took the chequered flag, as he looks to close the gap on Championship rival Charles Leclerc, but this Grand Prix needs to be judged on much more than just the race itself.
The scorching hot weather; a fake marina; a police escort for the drivers to the podium – Miami provided the show that we all hoped for. A crowd of 85,000 enthusiastic race fans suggests that the ‘Drive To Survive’ effect has undoubtedly increased America’s interest in the sport, and that F1 is experiencing its most competitive and engaging era in decades.
This increased profile is also aided by the huge amount of celebrities in attendance at the Miami International Autodrome. David Beckham shared his glamorous experience of the Grand Prix with his 73 million Insatagram followers, rubbing shoulders in the F1 Paddock with the likes of Tom Brady, Michael Jordan and Serena Williams. The world’s most iconic sports stars all endorsing F1 – unbelievable to think that the previous purveyors of F1 didn’t believe in the powers of social media!
The circuit itself could also be deemed a success. It had its doubters – after all a fair part of the track usually serve its purpose as a car park. But the Miami Dolphins Hard Rock stadium provided a superb backdrop, and this was a million miles from the Las Vegas car park disaster in the early 1980s. The 11 grandstands and numerous hospitality facilities, including Formula One Paddock Club, all looked great and help to deliver a permanent feel to what was a completely new and temporary facility.
In terms of financial success, Dolphins CEO and Miami GP boss Tom Garfinkel said that this would come in the long term. This is good news for race fans and suggests that Miami are in it for the duration of their 10 year contract. The fact that the race was a sell out, and the popularity of F1 in the USA seems to be ever growing would suggest that Garfinkel has a right to be optimistic.
All in all we would conclude that the 2022 Miami Grand Prix was a huge success for Formula One. It had the potential to be a flop; an over produced disaster which could have seen the sport take steps backwards, especially in the American market. Fortunately this was far from what happened, and with ESPN announcing that Sunday’s live telecast recorded an average of 2.6 million U.S. viewers, the largest audience for a live F1 race broadcast on American television, we can be positive and look forward to next year.
With the Austin Grand Prix now well and truly established, and with Las Vegas to be added to the calendar in 2023, the Miami Grand Prix helped prove that F1 is thriving in the USA - and this has to be great for the sport. Gracias Miami, see you next year!