F1 Drivers Left Unimpressed With Miami Pre-Race Show

F1’s latest attempt at enhancing the entertainment quotient for its audience hasn’t gone down too well with its star drivers.

By Carandbike Team


2 mins read


12-May-23 12:52 PM IST



  • Drivers had to be part of a pre-race show featuring rapper LL Cool J in Miami.
  • George Russell, Lando Norris and Valterri Bottas expressed their displeasure at the theatrics.
  • Lewis Hamilton was the only driver to express his support for the show.

The recently introduced pre-race introduction in Formula One has drawn widespread dissatisfaction from drivers, who view it as an unnecessary distraction and an addition to their already packed schedules. The inaugural presentation took place at the Miami Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen emerged victorious with a commanding performance that further distinguished the event.


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As part of the grid procedure, drivers were required to participate in a pre-race showcase, which involved being individually presented to the crowd. The spectacle featured an honour guard of cheerleaders, announcements by rapper LL Cool J, and a 30-piece black-tie orchestra conducted by singer will.i.am. While it aimed to create a grand show in Florida, several drivers were not pleased with the development.


George Russell, the Mercedes driver and director of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, expressed his discontent, citing the distraction caused by being on the grid for half an hour in the scorching sun, with cameras focused on them. He stated, "I don't think there's any other sport in the world where, 30 minutes before you go out to do your business, you're out there in the sun, all the cameras on you, and making a bit of a show of it."


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Lewis Hamilton expressed his appreciation for the inclusion of renowned artists such as LL Cool J and will.i.am in the show.


McLaren's Lando Norris echoed this sentiment, emphasizing that all drivers dislike the introduction. While acknowledging the necessity of publicity for the fans, Norris asserted that drivers prefer to focus on their preparations rather than engaging in extensive TV appearances. He added, “It's a business at the end of the day, so it's what we've got to do, but adding more and more stuff like this, no driver likes it.”


Valtteri Bottas of Alfa Romeo supported the drivers' viewpoint, highlighting that there should be a limit to the number of activities conducted before the start of the race or event, drawing attention to the uniqueness of the situation in Formula One.


In contrast to the discontent expressed by some drivers, Lewis Hamilton was the only one to welcome the new procedure, embracing the sport's continuous growth and evolution. He expressed support for the initiative to improve the show, noting his appreciation for the inclusion of renowned artists such as LL Cool J and will.i.am. Hamilton's perspective reflects a willingness to embrace change and innovation within the sport.


As Formula One seeks to strike a balance between entertainment and the drivers' preferences, the new pre-race introduction remains a topic of debate within the paddock. The ongoing discussions will play a crucial role in shaping the future implementation of the concept, with the aim of ensuring a consensus among the drivers and providing an enhanced race experience for fans.

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