F1 drivers have shared their opinions on the pre-race introductions at the Miami Grand Prix with them not enjoying them at all.
While it is something that happens nearly everytime in American sports the drivers shared their disapproval of the WWE styled pre-race introductions. F1 headed to Miami for the fifth round of the world championship over the weekend where the sport when all out immersing itself in the tradition of big sporting events in America with driver introductions before lights out.
However it is not the reaction Formula 1 and the FIA expected from the drivers. The grid was introduced by rapper LL Cool J alongside an orchestra that was being conducted by Will.I.Am along with cheerleaders and dry ice pyro. Formula 1 however is planning to do similar introductions at at least seven different grand prix locations this year. Undoubtedly we can expect the other two remaining rounds of races US races in Texas and Las Vegas to feature introductions.
The F1 drivers had already shown resisliance to the idea during a GPDA meeting on Friday night before the Miami Grand Prix on Sunday. As it is understood however there was an agreement between the drivers that they should at least give the introductions a try and see how the format can be tweaked. The last time F1 tried driver introductions was at the 2018 US Grand Prix at the circuit of the Americas where drivers were greeted by the Houstan Texan cheerleaders as they made their way to the cars.
Formula 1 is already aware of the divided opinion between itself and the drivers with it already prepared to talk to the drivers about how the introductions can be modified and made better for themselves and the fans watching at the track and at home. Conversations between the sport and the GPDA are expected to go ahead at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix later this month.
7 time world champion Lewis Hamilton was one of the only drivers in favour of the introductions. When speaking to motorsport.com he said: “I think it is cool that the sport is continuously growing and evolving and not just doing the same stuff that they’ve done in the past. They are trying new things; they are trying to improve the show and I am in full support of it.
“I grew up listening to LL Cool J and he was there, that was cool, and then you look over and you’ve got Will.i.am. who is an incredible artist. You’ve got Serena and Venus (Williams) standing there. I thought it was cool, no issue from me.”
The driver introductions in Miami come after huge spike in interest thanks to 'Drive to Survive' the Netflix series which has caused the popularity of F1 to boom in recent years. It has helped F1 in the USA especially with the sport trying for years to break into the biggest market possible for fans and sponsors. The sport has since been directly advertised to appeal to its new found American fanbase and thanks to the new popularity will see three race in the US this season with the next two rounds later in the year in Houston, Texas with the Circuit of the Americas and then F1 is headed to Las Vegas for a grand prix located down the world famous strip.