Christian Horner gives verdict on ‘awkward’ pre-race show in Miami

Sam Cooper
The grid ahead of the race in Miami. Miami, May 2023.

The grid ahead of the race in Miami. Miami, May 2023.

Christian Horner has weighed in on the topic of the pre-race show that drivers were made to endure ahead of the Miami Grand Prix.

In a break from the traditional arrival onto the grid, drivers were unveiled like WWE wrestlers and while some looked relaxed, plenty looked as if they would rather be doing anything else.

George Russell, who is director of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, said it was a discussion point amongst the drivers on the Friday before the race and that he personally found it “distracting.”

His compatriot Lando Norris said similar, revealing none of the drivers liked doing it and remarked that no other sport would ask that of its athletes.

One person who was pleased though was Miami GP managing partner Tom Garfinkel who said that Formula 1 was “ultimately a show.”

“I think there were a lot of people within F1 that probably weren’t happy about the Netflix series when it was first announced that it was going to happen and it certainly had a positive effect on the entire sport,” he said, as per

“When we talked about doing a race in Miami, there was some discussion with F1 about them wanting to have more entertainment and more pageantry and those types of things. So that’s what we’re trying to deliver. recommends

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“Ultimately, the competition of the cars and the drivers on the circuit during the race is the most important thing, but what happens before that, if we can entertain people and create some pageantry and some excitement, I think that’s a good thing.”

Red Bull team boss Horner was happy to sit on the fence and said that as long as it was good for business then it was fine by him, but did note that it made some of the drivers look “a little awkward.”

“If it’s good for the business, fine for me, it’s all about the two hours from when the lights go out,” Horner said. “We’re obviously in a different marketplace.

“You can see the drivers perhaps looked a little awkward, or some of them. But if it’s embracing a new audience, then that’s down to the promoter. I’m more interested in what happens as soon as the light goes out.”

He added: “I think there’s a lot of experimenting going on. This is a new market, and US sport is different. You’re not going to see drivers running on through dry ice at Silverstone.

“It’s different things for different markets. And of course, you can understand Liberty and the promoters exploring different things, because they’re competing with other sports. But I think it’s finding that balance that’s right and appropriate.”