The Miami F1 Grand Prix turned out to be more Monaco, less misery

Jared C. TiltonGetty Images

“All that,” asked Gabriella, the shuttle driver, “for two hours?”

“Yes”, we told him. “That’s how long the race lasts.”

“Huh,” she replied, a noncommittal answer, but you can tell she was thinking: a football game might only last an hour, but they play a lot of it.

Welcome to the world of $100 souvenir caps, although in the realm of Formula 1 “give me” only goes in the direction of the sport, not the fans. That said, Miami Grand Prix CEO Tom Garfinkel said he won’t make any money from the 2022 race. “Ask me next year,” he said.

Even so, investing a fortune to turn the Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium into the Miami International Velodrome for two hours, and expecting it to turn a profit after next year’s two-hour race, is outstanding. Garfinkel and Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has exceeded expectations, producing a stunning facility, well above our expectations after hitting the road a year ago. It was a lackluster stadium parking lot and a few surface streets in the poor suburb of Miami Gardens, but once inside it was more Monaco, less misery. Traffic was miserable leaving the race, but compared to, say, the Circuit of the Americas, that was just a mere inconvenience.

max verstappen red bull f1 miami grand prix
Bet against Max Verstappen at your own risk these days.

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKIGetty Images

The race itself was surprisingly lackluster, a follow-up affair after Red Bull‘s Max Verstappen was pressed by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in the opening laps. After his brief run of bad luck, Verstappen was a man on a mission, and anyone who bets against a pissed off Verstappen does so at their peril. The celebrities and their entourages, major and minor, made splendid spectators before the race, but once the green flag flew it wasn’t all that dramatic, unless you were Lando Norris.

Bottom line: The Miami Grand Prix kicked off with a swagger, an assurance far beyond what his rookie status should have. The fact that Verstappen, Leclerc and Sainz took to the podium with football helmets, which Sports Illustrated immediately pronounced “hilarious,” caps off a long weekend that felt a bit surreal.

Good job, gentlemen. We look forward to what you may have planned for 2023.

Miami F1 Grand Prix Results

  1. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 57 laps
  2. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, +3.7 seconds
  3. Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari, +8.2
  4. Sergio Perez, Red Bull, +10.6
  5. George Russell, Mercedes, +18.5
  6. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, +21.3
  7. Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo, +25.0
  8. Esteban Ocon, Alpine, +28.3
  9. Fernando Alonso, Alpine, +32.1
  10. Alexander Albon, Williams, +32.3
  11. Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, +37.0
  12. Yuki Tsunoda, Alpha Tauri, +40.1
  13. Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, +40.9
  14. Nicholas Latifi, Williams, +49.9
  15. Mick Schumacher, Haas, +1:13.3
  16. Kevin Magnussen, Haas, +1 lap
  17. Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, +3 laps
  18. Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, +12 laps
  19. Lando Norris, McLaren, +18 laps
  20. Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo, +51 laps

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