All-star crowd attends inaugural Miami Grand Prix

The Miami International Autodrome hosted a sold-out crowd at the weekend as Formula 1 staged its first-ever event in the US city.

Around 85,000 fans attended each day of the event, which incorporated Hard Rock Stadium, home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.

The race was won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who finished 3.7 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. Carlos Sainz, Leclerc’s Ferrari team-mate, finished in third.

A host of celebrities, including David Beckham, Michael Jordan, Serena Williams and LeBron James, were in attendance. The festival-style event also featured music performances from Tiësto, Maluma and The Chainsmokers.

“It was an incredible atmosphere,” said Verstappen. “It was really well-organised. It’s not easy to put on an event like this and they did an amazing job and I had a lot of fun driving around.”

Leclerc added: “The atmosphere was incredible – it’s great to see how much interest the sport has got in the last few years. The organisation was great with loads of people and good weather. It was amazing to be here.”

Fans attending the event were able to take advantage of 5G Ultra Wideband-powered experiences courtesy of US telecommunications company Verizon. According to Verizon, fans used 19TB of data during the first two days of the event.

Miami’s 10-year hosting deal was signed off in April last year and the weekend’s event marked the first time since 1959 that F1 has raced in Florida. The Miami Grand Prix becomes the second US race on the F1 calendar, joining an event in Austin, Texas.

From next year, F1 will have three races in the US after Las Vegas was recently confirmed as an addition to the 2023 calendar. The inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix will take place at night on a Saturday in November 2023, with the track to sweep past some of the Strip’s most famous landmarks, hotels and casinos.

On Friday, it emerged that F1 has paid $240m (£195m/€228m) for a 39-acre site in Las Vegas to host the grand prix. The area will house the F1 paddock, hospitality and other infrastructure and is expected to be formalised in the coming weeks, according to Greg Maffei, chief executive of F1’s parent company Liberty Media.

F1 and Liberty Media will work together to promote the Las Vegas Grand Prix in partnership with Live Nation Entertainment and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Image: Formula 1