The Miami Grand Prix was replete of ploys, from a security detail to the podium to football helmets for the top three, neither of which were praised by Bernie Ecclestone. The inaugural Miami Grand Prix, round five of the 2022 championship, was held at the Hard Rock Stadium.
Miami did something different, beginning with the Opening Party on Wednesday night, which included a driver demonstration on the podium and concluding with the top three wearing football helmets as they doused champagne on Sunday.
While the figures indicate that it ended up working, 242,955 aficionados came through over three days, with a log 85,280 on race day, retired F1 grandee Ecclestone thought it was a waste of money and time.
Bernie Ecclestone gives his take on the Miami Grand Prix
“They are producing Formula 1: American Style. It may well be that it’s good, because so many stupid things come out of America and everyone’s happy, but it wasn’t the way I ran things,” said the 91-year-old former chief executive of the Formula One group. Formula 1’s fame in America is expanding, thanks in part to Netflix’s ‘Drive to Survive’ series, to the point where three races will be held in the country next season.
Greg Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media, reacted to Ecclestone’s remark: “Bernie can think what he wants. But the reality is everyone wants to be there now.” And Maffei isn’t the only one who thinks Ecclestone’s views are irrelevant.
“Bernie was good in his time, he invented our sport, but technologies have changed,” added Mercedes’ team principal Toto Wolff. While Miami drew a large crowd, the drivers were unimpressed with the circuit or the racing. Sergio Perez described the track surface as a “joke,” and Daniel Ricciardo added that drivers “literally have to stay on that one line or you’re not really on the track anymore. So instead of making it a kind of a good challenge, it just makes it a little bit, in a way, like one-dimensional.”