Formula 1 Racing

Hamilton welcomes “cool” new driver introductions but rivals aren’t convinced · RaceFans

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Miami International Autodrome, 2023

Lewis Hamilton praised Formula 1’s new pre-race driver introduction which was used for the first time at the Miami Grand Prix yesterday.

However several of his rivals did not enjoy the new addition to the series’ pre-race show, during which the drivers were introduced to the audience by LL Cool J.

“I think it’s cool that the sport’s continuously growing and evolving and they’re not just doing the same stuff that they’ve done in the past,” said Hamilton. “They’re trying new things. They’re trying to improve the show always and I’m in full support of it.

“I mean jeez, I grew up listening to LL Cool J and now LL Cool J’s there, that was cool. Then you look over, you’ve got, who’s an incredible artist. You’ve got Serena and Venus [Williams sisters] standing there. I thought it was cool, it wasn’t an issue for me.”

However Max Verstappen said he would have preferred to start the race without going through the extra ceremony.

“I did have enough preparation before, to speak to my engineers and stuff for the race. But personally I think this is just a bit of a personality thing. Some people like to be more in the spotlight, some people don’t. I personally don’t.

“So for me, I think that naturally what they did today is not necessary. I prefer to just talk to my engineers, walk to my car, put the helmet on and drive. But of course I understand the entertainment value.”

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F1 has indicated the new ceremony will only be used at some rounds, which Verstappen thinks is the correct decision. “I hope we don’t have that every single time, because we have a very long season, we don’t need an entry like that every time.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Miami International Autodrome, 2023
Alonso said F1 shouldn’t single out some races as special events

“It also depends a bit on the crowd, I think, in terms of what you want in terms of entertainment. So I think it’s just a personal preference as well from the drivers – for me personally, not [preferred].”

However Fernando Alonso said it would not be fair to hold the introductions at some but not others.

“I understand the point of view of everybody but I’m not a big fan of those kinds of things just before the race,” he said. “If we have to do it, I think we need to remove some of the other stuff we are doing like the parade lap or something like that, because it’s really in the middle of the preparation with the engineers and the strategy meeting.

“I disagree a little…

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