Formula 1 Racing

Why Miami isn’t feeling any heat from Las Vegas F1 competition

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523

Speaking exclusively to Autosport during last weekend’s third Miami GP at the Hard Rock Stadium, Epp said that the advent of a third grand prix in America – last November’s Las Vegas GP – expands the scope to distinguish them from one another.

As a result, this means they can differentiate themselves – rather than be in competition with each other – and pursue their own types of fans to maximise attendance and revenues in a massive sports market.

“We had dinner with the Las Vegas crew last night, and we talked a lot about this,” he said. “We exchange a lot of information with them, and a bit with Austin as well. 

“I think the great thing is that Formula 1 not only allows but they encourage us to operate differently. They want us to represent the communities and the cities in which we live.

“And so the experience in Austin is quite different than the experience here in Miami, which is quite different experience in Vegas. So, credit to Stefano [Domenicali, F1’s CEO] and team for giving us the freedom to execute at that level, so we don’t necessarily feel the competition.

“In fact, if it’s anything, it’s how do we work together to continue to give this growing US F1 fan base what they want.”

Miami ran a sprint weekend format for the first time in 2024, mirroring Austin’s move last season, even though Circuit of the Americas chairman Bobby Epstein revealed that it did not result in a bigger audience for Saturday as he’d anticipated.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Epp believes that Miami GP Saturday tickets on the secondary market – where they are resold after originally being purchased from the venue’s vendor – built some vital late momentum to ensure that the event was sold out.

“If you had asked me this question a month ago, I would have said we haven’t really seen the impact – I’m not sure the value is there,” said Epp. “I have to tell you, the last couple of weeks we have seen our Saturday activities really driving our value.

“We see that on the secondary market, where the tickets get split up. All of a sudden there was a market building for Saturday and I think that’s partially to do with the sprint race, and I think we need to embrace that.”

Epp added that the midday start time of the sprint didn’t help its cause, but the fact it was a race rather than a practice session was key: “Is it perfect? Probably not.

“Are there…

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