Formula 1 Racing

Miami GP revamps pre-race show without 2023-style F1 driver introductions announces Yuki Tsunoda, Scuderia AlphaTauri, on the grid

Last year Miami featured a glitzy opening ceremony with drivers presented to the crowd one by one by American rapper LL Cool J, flanked by Miami Dolphins cheerleaders, while conducted an orchestra playing a song he had co-produced specifically for the race with Lil Wayne.

The ceremony was met with mixed reviews by fans, especially its predominantly European TV audience, while several drivers also had misgivings about being asked to spend an extended amount of time in the Miami heat in their race overalls.

For Sunday afternoon’s third running of the race, F1 and the organisers have revised the ceremony, doing away with the driver introductions in the way they were performed in 2023 and opting for a less complicated run plan.

The drivers will be introduced using a giant LED screen above the start/finish gantry, which will also be used to display other pieces of bespoke content ahead of the race’s 4pm local start time.

Six-time Grammy winner Marc Anthony is set to perform the American national anthem, while Kaskade will be the DJ on the grid.

While the change is not directly based off driver feedback, F1 has been evolving its pre-race build-ups since last year to move more towards music and on-the-grid entertainment to lift the atmosphere ahead of the start. announces Yuki Tsunoda, Scuderia AlphaTauri, on the grid

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Former Haas team boss Guenther Steiner, who is present in Miami in an official capacity as the race’s ambassador, says drivers should make more of an effort to embrace the new ways American races are trying to engage fans.

“I think the drivers need to understand that they’re in a unique spot,” he said.

“If something is new, it’s easier to be negative than positive. Even if you don’t enjoy it, put your best effort into it because it makes a lot of people happy.

“Obviously, racing needs to be the most important thing, but you can give people a lot of entertainment outside of the racing.

“Maybe 20 years ago, we just wanted to go and see a race, but now kids want to have a full experience and I think Miami has brought that to the calendar.

“Promoters saw that this works because you attract people to the sport, which is what we want.”

Other trackside acts across the weekend include Ed Sheeran, John Summit, Kaytranada and Steve Aoki.

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