Team bosses hopeful for Miami beyond first-year hype

Jon Wilde
Zak Brown poses for a photo with David Beckham. Miami May 2022.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown poses for a photo with David Beckham. Miami May 2022.

Zak Brown, along with other F1 team bosses, is not concerned the Miami Grand Prix will quickly lose its novelty after a headline-grabbing debut.

From an entertainment perspective, the new addition to this year’s calendar was everything it was cracked up to be – at least off the circuit, with all the razzmatazz and celebrities in attendance you would expect.

But with the Miami International Autodrome circuit not given a universal thumbs-up by the drivers, and the new Las Vegas Grand Prix certain to capture the attention in 2023, concerns have been expressed that the initial lustre of Miami could fade.

However, Brown, an American himself, believes the Florida event has the potential to remain on the schedule for a long time to come.

Charles Leclerc drives past the beach club and Hard Rock Stadium. Miami May 2022.

Asked in a press conference what the key is to ensuring Miami remains a top event in Formula 1, the McLaren Racing CEO said: “Putting on a good first year event, which is a challenge to get everything right, given the size and scale and newness to it.

“But if you look at Austin, 10 years on they had a record attendance last year, Silverstone has been around for 50-plus years and is already a sell-out.

“So I think putting on a great event, and then having it be sustainable over decades, is… I don’t say it’s easy to do but clearly it can be done.

“If you look at the grand prix calendar, the Italys of the world, they have been popular for decades and decades. So I think let’s just get it right, put on a good show for the fans and I think there’s a tremendous amount of runway here.”

Brown’s equivalent at Alpine, Laurent Rossi, thinks Miami has set a standard for other locations to live up to.

“They are doing an amazing job, they are raising the bar,” he said. “I trust they will be capable of keeping on doing this in the next year. So I actually think this will take everyone one notch up.”


Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, meanwhile, thinks the on-track action has to live up to what occurs beside the circuit, especially after his driver George Russell described the racing surface as “a massive step worse than anywhere else”.

Wolff said before the race: “I think there are so many things that work in favour of Miami – the city, the entertainment provided outside of the racing track.

“But I think one major factor will be how entertaining the race will be. These are great expectations from fans and partners that come to Miami, and I think whatever needs to be done for the track to provide that real entertainment factor will be important to consider for the future.”


Torquing Point: 2022 Miami Grand Prix reviewed

Mark Smith, Finley Crebolder and comedian Alfie Brown discuss the best and worst of the Miami GP where Max Verstappen claimed victory ahead of Charles Leclerc.