McLaren team boss Zak Brown has compared the hype surrounding the Miami Grand Prix as similar to the buzz around the Super Bowl.
The Miami Grand Prix may be one of the most hotly anticipated races in the sport’s history. After a battle with residents over noise concerns, the track was finally added to the calendar last year following years of speculation.
Celebrities, including the likes of David Beckham, have been clamouring to attend the inaugural event on May 8 and teams have found themselves inundated with ticket requests. A reported 250,000 people registered to buy tickets and the 80,000 capacity is expected to be reached.
As an American himself, Brown is familiar with just how big a deal the Super Bowl is both in the States and worldwide, but he has suggested the build-up to the upcoming race in Miami matches that level of hype.
“It’s going to be awesome,” Brown told Reuters. “I’ve been here six years and I’ve never seen demand or buzz for a grand prix like I’ve seen for Miami.
“We can easily double our hospitality and we are already the largest hospitality buyer in Miami…it rivals the Super Bowl as far as ‘are you going to the Miami race?’.
“I’ve been around F1 for 20 years and I’m used to going to grands prix but I’ve never seen anything like it.
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“Having been around the Super Bowl, where there’s the football game and then there’s the half-time celebs and shows, this feels like the Super Bowl.”
That feeling was shared by Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, who said he had never seen such demand for a race.
“Miami is going to be super-cool,” he told the F1 Nation podcast. “I’ve never known a race to have so much demand.
“We are totally over-subscribed, I think there is a waiting list of hundreds of thousands of people trying to get in.
“It’s an interesting track, a simple layout but they tend to sometimes be the trickier ones. It’s got a huge straight, so I think the racing will be good there and it will be great to see the cars in Miami.”
The drivers themselves also seem excited for the inaugural race with seven-time former World Champion Lewis Hamilton saying it will be a “pretty hardcore event“.
AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly agreed with Hamilton and predicted the race would be “insane.”