Sunday , July 3 2022

Miami Grand Prix: F1 – live! | Formula One

This isn’t F1’s first flush in America. Some of you may remember Mario Andretti, who spoke to Giles Richards.

Andretti’s opinion rightly still carries weight. He won the F1 championship with Lotus in 1978 but his career was long and successful across so many disciplines. He remains the only driver to have won the F1 title, the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500. He was named US driver of the year in three separate decades: 1967, 1978 and 1984.

Why so many famous faces here? The answer is Drive To Survive, the Netflix series.

F1 is holding two races in the US for the first time since 1984, with Miami and the US GP in Austin. Next year it will add Las Vegas to the mix. The sport’s owners, Liberty Media who took over F1 in 2017, have made no secret of their ambition to build F1’s profile in the US and Drive to Survive has been vital.

Team principals have acknowledged the part the TV show has played in bringing their sport to a wider audience, even while some drivers such as Max Verstappen have criticised that it is played for dramatic effect to sell a narrative.

To say this is a celeb extravaganza is to put it mildly. Michael Jordan is doing his last dance, Serena Williams looks ace, Pharrell Williams looks happy, Will-I-Am has got a feeling it’s going to be a good, good night, and Michael Douglas has the same basic instinct, Tom Brady has touched down and David Beckham got a bend on to be here. Some real Don Johnson values in his get-up.

Preamble

Rhythm is gonna get’cha
Rhythm is gonna get’cha
Rhythm is gonna get you

The rhythm is gonna get you tonight
No way, you can fight it every day
But no matter what you say
You know it the rhythm is gonna get’cha

Gloria Estefan and her Sound Machine, Crockett & Tubbs, Steve Van Zandt, Dan Marino, Tony Montana, The Rock, Gentle Ben, Jon Secada, Police Academy 5, Phil Neville: yes, it’s probably time to shake out the Miami cliches before the big race itself, though a first F1 race here since 1959 is quite the occasion, as America, via Netflix, has becomes the latest territory the fastest vroom-vroom cars in the world of sport have conquered.

What’s at stake, beyond Lewis Hamilton’s battle to keep his body piercings on in the cockpit? Well, Charles Leclerc looked highly accomplished in qualifying where Max Verstappen did not, as the world champion was forced into a mistake when pushing too hard on his final lap. In the drivers’ championship, Leclerc leads Verstappen by 27 points, a handy advantage, and he has Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz alongside him on the starting grid, with Verstappen in third with Red Bull oppo Sergio Perez in fourth.

It’s hot out there, humid, too, and that could make for some fine entertainment. Reliability could be an issue for all the teams – just ask Hamilton’s Merc team even if he did make sixth on the grid this time – and may be the deciding factor.

Moon over Miami
Shine on my love and me
So we can stroll beside the roll
Of the rolling sea

Moon over Miami
Shine on as we begin
A dream or two that may come true
As the tide comes in

A far more cool way to drive around Miami.



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