The F1 Miami Grand Prix Experience
By: Chris A
I had the fortune of spending the weekend at the Miami Grand Prix, and it was fucking awesome. I’m going to pivot from my usual race talk and instead speak to the in person Grand Prix experience.
It was clear that an extraordinary amount of planning and work went into the preparation and setup for the event. There was cool shit everywhere. I’m not a huge social media guy, but they clearly had the idea to make the whole experience as “Instagram-able” as possible. A massive campus, and every area you uncover was filled with bad ass Formula 1 larger than life murals, paintings, decorations, Ferraris on display, games, an NFT exhibit, Pitstop challenge, racing sims, and so much more.
It was like a Formula 1 themed music festival, and it was sick. The vendors were all unique local restaurants with whatever limited menu they decided to bring, and they fucking killed it. I mean was it overpriced? Hell yeah, but everything in Miami is overpriced so it actually wasn’t even that bad. Late day on Saturday prior to qualifying I needed a little kick in the ass so when I stumbled into an Italian bakery I ordered a double espresso. Surreal drinking a legit double espresso trackside while pounding Heineken and High noons.
I was a bit worried that this event would be a logistical nightmare, but they had their shit organized. I maybe waited in one or two lines all weekend for a free water refill station and the pitstop challenge event which my friend completely dropped the ball on. We won’t talk about that though.
Everyone was over the top friendly. We met people there from all over the world, different parts of the country and a ton of other locals. Again it had that hippie music fest vibe, but race cars instead. I loved it, we met this dude named Guy, an older gentleman from Austin, and we navigated our way to the event together. We lost him in the crowd, but then randomly ran into him at the top of the stadium and he was drinking with us the rest of the day after that.
The stadium in the middle provided an awesome hang out. You could see large swaths of the track from the higher levels, and then go sit inside the stadium and watch on any of four massive jumbotrons. We had great tickets for qualifying on Saturday, but only had a general campus pass for Sunday so the plan was to watch from the stadium in the shade. However, we found our way into some awesome Grandstand seats and were able to roast trackside Turn 18 in the Miami sun for the Grand Prix.
As far as watching a race live.. The experience is awesome, watching how fast the cars go in real life is nuts. They come down the straight looking like legit missiles. They sound amazing as well. You do have to see these bad boys in action to really appreciate it. That being said.. as a fan watching trackside was a blast, but I normally watch with F1TV broadcast, track map data, multiple onboards, and more from the comfort of my home. It was hard to hear the broadcast trackside, and you could see the giant screens for big overtakes, but it was very hard to read any intervals or data. The crowd would absolutely go nuts when an overtake happened.
Overall, it was an awesome experience. Max took the win and as a Redbull fan it was great to see. Miami was its own animal, but I highly recommend going to a race if it’s an option. I’m going to make my way to Austin for COTA.
The Marina & fake water
The Ferrari Lineup