Who is watching the Miami Grand Prix Formula 1 race this weekend?

For those who disagree with Michel Houellebecq (see If the dark days don’t have you in a suicidal mood…

Are you from Brittany?” he asked. “Yes—from Saint-Brieuc!” she replied happily. “But I really like Brazilian dance,” she added, obviously trying to absolve herself for her disinterest in African dance. Much more of this and Bruno would really get irritated. He was starting to get pissed off about the world’s stupid obsession with Brazil. What was so great about Brazil? As far as he knew, Brazil was a shithole full of morons obsessed with soccer and Formula One. It was the ne plus ultra of violence, corruption and misery. If ever a country were loathsome, that country, specifically, was Brazil. Sophie,” announced Bruno, “I could go on vacation to Brazil tomorrow. I’d look around a favela. The minibus would be armor-plated; so in the morning, safe, unafraid, I’d go sightseeing, check out eight-year-old murderers who dream of growing up to be gangsters; thirteen-year-old prostitutes dying of AIDS. I’d spend the afternoon at the beach surrounded by filthy-rich drug barons and pimps. I’m sure that in such a passionate, not to mention liberal, society I could shake off the malaise of Western civilization. You’re right, Sophie: I’ll go straight to a travel agent as soon as I get home.”

) the Miami Grand Prix is this weekend. ESPN will cover the qualifying at 3:55 pm ET today. The actual race is tomorrow. A rich friend got free tickets and took his young son to yesterday’s practice. Our text message exchange:

  • Me: What about parking?
  • Rich dad (there is no “poor dad” in any tale regarding Formula 1): Traffic nightmare. 90 minutes [from Miami Beach]. Took an Uber
  • Me: And that was for practice! A whole race is about 90 minutes. If horse racing is the sport of kings, this is the sport of people who love to sit in traffic jams. Now that you’ve seen it up close how much would you be willing to pay for a high quality grandstand seat [$4,000+ per ticket] for the race itself.
  • Rich dad: Zero. Would rather watch at home.

(His 4-year-old was smiling in the video snippet that he sent.) The good news is that it wasn’t as loud as the earlier generation of F1. Earplugs were not required except in the pits. My friend’s seats, about 3 stories above the track, were not plagued by ear-splitting noise.

European readers: Please sell us on the magic of Formula One!


(note that the tennis courts you see are used for the annual Miami Open; maybe they could space out the traffic and make the horrific logistics worth it by holding a tennis event at the same time as the F1 race? Go there in the morning to watch tennis and then stay for the car race)

18 thoughts on “Who is watching the Miami Grand Prix Formula 1 race this weekend?

  1. I’ll be watching part of it from my hovel in Maskachusetts but only because it’s in Miami. The last time I had any real interest in F1 was back in the Senna/Prost days, when the cars had real power and nobody was even close to kidding around in those almost uncontrollable machines. I will watch at least part of it but I’m kind of glad I can’t afford to attend it in person.


  2. I will be watching this race, that is if I can clear the “Mothers out of the way” of the TV so I can see it. I would be watching the practice round now, but I feel compelled to watch the Wells Fargo golf occurring my my “backyard” here at TPC Potomac.

    • I meant to add, in an attempt to pay homage to the F1 race, I am proudly wearing my F1 Boston jacket throughout the Montgomery county this weekend. Unfortunately I believe F1\X1 Boston may have been a victim of the inability to keep race cars 6 feet away from each other all the while wearing masks (helmets) and suits as the location continues to show closed.

  3. I’ve been to few circuit races. After the start, its impossible to follow which cars are in which position. After a few laps the cars spread out, then you get a few seconds of action as cars go by, followed by a 10x longer gap. It really is a sport enjoyed watching it at home on TV, or from the suites with catered food and TVs ($3000+ for Montreal). Oval racing is more fun to watch in person because you can see the whole track at once, and echo of the engines in the stadium is insane. Also worth seeing once in your life: drag races, with flame-shooting 10,000hp dragsters so loud they measure on the Richter earthquake scale.

    • A couple of years ago, I decided watching sports from home on the couch was far superior than in person.

      Regarding drag racing – yes fun to watch and participate! As a teen, I used to race my ’69 Camaro at New England Dragway, along w/ my houligan friends in their hot rods, on street-legal Wednesday nights. As a teen, I also pit-crewed for a couple of stock car drivers at Star Speedway and Lee Raceway in New Hampshire.

  4. Where are the tree-hugging environmentalist? Are they going to attend in masses to protest against those earth polluting, non-essential cars going around the track surrounded with green trees?

    • The cars are already partly electric and they have this season introduced a new greener fuel to use, required of course, so what more do you want? Or you can change channels and watch the all-electric Formula E (lacks the feel of F1 but in a few years I’m sure it will be mandatory).

  5. Have you watched the Netflix series, “Drive to Survive”? This seems to have ignited the interest of the USians.

    Last year was an insane fight between old many-time champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and young contender Max Verstappen (Red Bull), ending with Verstappen taking the crown in the last few laps of the last race, with massive controversy. I’d myself say things had been quite controversial before that, with some very questionable moves during the season by both teams. It was the most exciting season for as long as I can offhand remember.

    This year, the technical regulations have changed and the teams have taken a ride on the wheel of fortune. Now it’s two young geniuses, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), fighting it out while Hamilton is cooling his heels in the mid pack. I’ve waited for this new era for a few years, actually, but the Mercedes team was just too strong technically before now to allow it. (And they might well come back, I’m sure the engineers are working to fix the bugs with germanic fanaticism.) There are actually also five or six other very talented young drivers wanting a piece at the moment, not to mention some old champions who want to show they’re not done yet, but you’ll have to read up on that yourselves.

    Personally, I enjoy Valtteri Bottas getting released by top-team Mercedes, joining a low-tier team, and now beating his former no 1 Hamilton from time to time. I think Bottas outqualified Hamilton today for instance. Something of a revenge arc.

  6. I wish I could tell you it’s worth it

    As a 8yo, I saw my brother following religiously, in the 90s, sometimes on my grandmother’s very old valve TV that took minutes to warm up, the very great like Sena, Prost, Haikonen and Schumacher.

    After 2000 or so, I’ve either grown up or it’s lost its luster.

  7. Congratulations to Max Verstappen, I don’t know much about him but he seems to be a very talented driver. I watched the highlights and some other footage. It was a good race, a real race, and a well-designed track without a lot of bumps and it looks like the cars could hold enormous Gs because of their downforce as a result. The accidents seem to have all been driver mistakes and it was a good show on what I think is a safe track.

    Amazing the big advertisers: CRYPTO.COM, ROLEX and EMIRATES plus some punters like Oracle/Red Bull (lol.)


    Honda built the engine.

    • Since I am part Dutch now I suppose I’ll have to keep an eye on Verstappen in the future. Thanks for reminding me to watch some of the race this weekend. Orange and Blue!

      “Although Verstappen has a Belgian mother, was born in Belgium and resided in Bree, Belgium, he decided to compete with a Dutch racing licence because he “feels more Dutch”, having spent more time with his father than with his mother owing to his karting activities, and was always surrounded by Dutch people while growing up in Maaseik, a Belgian town at the Dutch border.[13] Verstappen said in 2015: “I actually only lived in Belgium to sleep, but during the day I went to the Netherlands and had my friends there too. I was raised as a Dutch person and that’s how I feel.”[14]”


  8. I can remember the open-wheel days when a driver got killed all too often. Dunno how they got people to drive back then.
    The old movie “Grand Prix” is surprisingly good. The film crew had access to all the races and got some good footage.

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