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Pre-Miami GP events – There’s too much focus on spectacle and not enough good racing!



Miami GP pre-race events Formula 1 drivers discontent 2

Several Formula 1 drivers express their discontent with the star-studded pre-Miami Grand Prix events. With individual driver introductions led by American rapper LL Cool J and a unique orchestral performance by, many racers argue the focus is shifting away from the sport itself.

Numerous Formula 1 drivers have expressed discontent with certain aspects of the pre-Miami Grand Prix events, which involved individual introductions for each driver 20 minutes prior to the race’s commencement.

LL Cool J, the American rapper, presented each F1 driver one by one as they stepped out onto the grid amidst Miami GP spectators and a host of celebrities. Simultaneously, an orchestra led by performed a song specifically created for the Miami GP by and Lil Wayne.

Miami GP pre-race events

After their introductions, the drivers assembled for the national anthem. Among the 20 drivers, local favorite Logan Sargeant, Lewis Hamilton (an LL Cool J admirer), and eventual champion Max Verstappen each took a moment to speak briefly at the microphone, while the remaining drivers merely walked out and offered a wave.

The introduction of this temporary measure in F1 Grand Prix events has been met with disapproval from several drivers who consider it a distraction and superfluous, even while recognizing its entertainment appeal.

“After the Miami GP, Norris commented, “None of the drivers like it, but ultimately, it’s not for us.”

He added that although Formula 1 is possibly the only sport where drivers engage so closely with fans and extensively promote fan interaction, drivers generally prefer to concentrate on their priorities without the added pressure of extensive media exposure.


“No driver likes it,” said Norris, emphasizing that Formula 1 is ultimately a business and such activities are part of the job.

Fernando Alonso, who finished third, expressed his disapproval of such pre-race events, preferring consistency in the pre-race proceedings throughout the season. He suggested that if such introductions are necessary, they should replace other activities like the parade lap to avoid disrupting the drivers’ preparation with engineers and strategy meetings.

Alonso added, “I disagree a little bit… if we do it, we have to do it everywhere because I don’t think that the Miami fans are better than the Italian fans in Imola or in Spain or in Mexico or in Japan. I think we need to make every [race has] the same rules, the same show before the race.”

Valtteri Bottas, an Alfa Romeo driver, agreed with the sentiment, calling the pre-race introductions unnecessary and distracting. He pointed out, “There’s no other sport where the athletes do so much stuff before the start of the race or event.”

Miami GP pre-race events

At some point, there must be a limit, according to some drivers. George Russell, the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association director, also mentioned that athletes in other sports do not have to deal with such extensive pre-event activities.

Russell said, “We spoke about it as drivers on Friday night, everybody has different personalities, I guess it’s the American way of doing sport.” He added that it wasn’t his preference, as he’s focused on racing and winning, not putting on a show. However, he acknowledged the need to adapt.

Russell described the situation as distracting, with drivers on the grid for half an hour in their overalls under the sun, noting that no other sport exposes athletes to such conditions shortly before the event. While recognizing the entertainment value, Russell emphasized that the drivers want what’s best for the sport and are open to change, but wouldn’t want this every weekend.


In contrast, when asked about his teammate’s remarks, Hamilton laughed off the idea that drivers were in the sun too long – “no, I think it was great, I love the sun” – and expressed support for the driver introductions.

Hamilton expressed a positive outlook on the sport’s continuous growth and evolution, saying, “I think it’s cool that the sport is continuously growing and evolving.”

He appreciated the efforts to try new things and improve the show, offering his full support. Hamilton expressed excitement about sharing the stage with notable figures like LL Cool J,, and the Williams sisters, claiming it was a non-issue for him.

Meanwhile, Miami GP winner Verstappen did not believe the introductions were necessary but acknowledged the added entertainment value. He said, “I think this is just a bit of a personality thing, right? Some people like to be more in the spotlight, some people don’t.”

Verstappen personally prefers a more low-key approach, saying, “I personally don’t [like the spotlight], so for me, I think that naturally of course what they did today is not necessary.”

He would rather focus on discussing strategies with his engineers, getting into his car, putting on his helmet, and driving. However, he understands the entertainment value of such events. Verstappen hopes that such introductions won’t be part of every race, considering the long season, but acknowledges that the entertainment preferences of the audience may vary.

In conclusion, Verstappen believes it comes down to personal preference among the drivers, and for him, such pre-race activities are not ideal.


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