Tuesday, May 9, 2023

F1 Miami Friday

Red Bull on track, team garages and pit lane on the other side, in front of the Miami Dolphins Hard Rock Stadium

Hello from Miami! It hit 90 degrees during practice 1 last Friday, so we were drinking water and putting on sun screen to keep as cool as possible. Overall, I’ve still got to say that going to an F1 race is like going to the State Fair. Big crowds, lots of food and drinks for sale (just pay the price and keep moving folks), and plenty to see just wandering around. 

The entire track was a new surface this year, so throughout the two practice sessions on Friday, the times kept getting faster. Somewhere I read that this is one of the hottest races of the year, so that plays a big role in how the tires and cars perform. With one hour practice, and approximately an hour and a half race, the cars need to be reliable.

Our video screen

We were allowed to bring in empty waters bottles, and it was easy to find the free water filling stations. As you can imagine, the many food and souvenir vendors had ridiculous prices, so a free bit of water was appreciated. OK, it wasn't as bad as the 18 dollar beer at Madison Square Garden for a Billy Joel concert, I think most beers were more like 9 dollars. Hey, we tried Heineken Silver, it was OK.

Looking straight into the Aston Martin garages of Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso

Friday was the smallest crowd of the weekend, so not too bad walking around, even arriving when the gates opened. Before long the food areas inside big tents were packed, and there wasn't a lot of shade to be had in or out of the grandstands, so I'm still planning on winning the lottery so I can afford the fancy suites in the shade that come with catering!

Ferrari sales

Driving to and from the stadium was probably as good as it gets for a major sports event, and actually surprisingly easy. Our hotel was west of the stadium, so I can't speak for people coming from north and south, or the shuttle buses or trains. Our assigned parking (included with the ticket price!) was close to the stadium, so not a bad walk. Traffic (car) at the end of Friday was quickly out of the lot and back at our hotel. Our previous experience parking at Circuit of the Americas in Texas in 2019 was really terrible, but I think they've figured it out by now. Miami: No Problema!

Red Bull and World Champ Max Verstappen, very popular

There was a reasonable variety of food on the race "Campus," so like I said, you've just got to look at it like being at the State Fair and see what they have. The entire campus was cashless, so debit/credit card only. This mostly worked, but we did run into a beer seller whose machine wasn't working, so we found another seller right away.

Friday I wore Haas to support our USA based team

During the weekend there was a good mix of fans supporting different teams, maybe more Red Bull than others, but plenty of Ferrari, McLaren, and Mercedes, with smaller numbers of the other teams like Haas, Alpha Tauri, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Williams, and Alpine. Most of the team hats on sale were going for $90, and I saw an Aston Martin team polo shirt for $150. If you can afford an Aston Martin, those prices won't make you blink!

Our home straight grandstand. Some more shade would be nice!

On our walk through gate 8 to our grandstand, we passed some road cars on display, tons of signs and banners, and everything was looking good. A lot of our walk was also kind of behind the scenes, in between barriers, with just small glimpses of the track, and included one bridge over the track. The bridge was entirely covered in banners and fencing so there was no chance interfering or even really seeing the track, so maybe some day they can come up with a plexiglass bridge and you could stand over the race while it's going on. Just a thought!

Julie has entered the compound!

Waiting to enter when the gates open on Friday

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