The second Miami Grand Prix has been and gone and it’s caused quite a divided response, there are those who thought the race was decent as although we didn’t see much of a battle for the lead, the midfield was what kept my attention for the entirety of the race. On the other hand, some were less than impressed with the Miami GP for the second year running. The first of the three US races on the calendar left a lot to be desired and ultimately it proved to be a much more interesting weekend off track rather than on track.
Before F1 even touched down in Miami for the 2023 GP there was already a flock of outrage taking over social media surrounding whether influencers deserved to be invited to the race , the cost of attending the race and the new questionable ‘showbiz intros’ that were set to take centre stage on race day. I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise to find out that the aforementioned topics surrounding the race only went from bad to worse as the weekend played out. The influencer debate went on to cause further disapproval from fans with some teams even poking fun at the discussion, the extortionate costs of attending the race were only further exasperated once the costs of food and drink hit social media and the driver intros received a universal thumbs down from fans and drivers alike. However, in spite of all the negative press surrounding the race it didn’t have much of an impact on the attendance throughout the weekend as the Miami GP saw an increase in of 30,000 people compared to the inaugural GP last year. If this is a sign of things to comes it looks as though they will not be pulling back on any of the Americanised characteristics that have come to be associated with this track in its two short years on the calendar.
Once F1 did arrive in Miami, there was another fiasco that took place before the race even started. Martin Brundle’s grid walk has become a long standing tradition at Formula 1 Grand Prix’s and this past Sunday was no different, on a grid that was buzzing with famous faces Brundle attempted to get and interview with Roger Federer but was unsuccessful until Sir Jackie Stewart took it upon himself to personally arrange this interview by swatting past Federer’s security. In the aftermath of this debacle this became an obvious highlight of the entire weekend and had many in hysterics but there is also something to be said for how Formula 1 personnel and legends are treated by the security surrounding the celebrities that are invited to F1 as guests. Many were quick to point out that the security’s handling of Stewart was wrong and he should’ve been shown the respect that he has deserved. This is not the first time that F1 personnel have been disrespected or ignored by celebrities/security on the grid and whilst there is no obligation to give an interview during the grid walk, there is also no reason to act as though you’re above those who make up the F1 weekend. It must be said that the incidents referenced above have been directed more closely towards the security of those celebrities who have been invited to F1 weekends, but either way it did not go down well.
For the final part of the Miami round up we’ll be talking about the actual racing and more specifically about the battle between Alonso and Checo which could intensify as the season goes on. The championship is pretty much wrapped up for Verstappen so the next best battle will be for P2 in the drivers’ standing, as it currently stands Checo is in P2 with 105 points and Alonso is in P3 only 30 points behind. Realistically speaking Perez should be able to comfortably take P2 and I wouldn’t ordinarily question this but considering that it’s Alonso in P3, a P2 finish for Checo is not a forgone conclusion. When taking into account the amount of development that will be made over the course of the season and factoring in the penalty that has not really hit Redbull yet, there is a slight chance that come Abu Dhabi Alonso could find himself sitting in P2. Aston are yet to move to their new facility nor have they brought any major upgrades to the car in 2023, when looking at the step they’ve made over the past year it’s not unreasonable to think that over the course of this season they could make a big enough jump up to allow Alonso to remain in contention for P2.
The Miami weekend is definitely a polarising event, with some all for the cringy theatrics whilst other are vehemently against it. I don’t think the race was as bad as some people have said we just had look a bit further down the grid to see the battles. There were moments that did make me cringe but given that we only have a few US races per year I think the Miami experience should be embraced for what it is.