The glitz and glamour of Formula One has been long-standing. The sport that the rich and famous love to go and watch aboard their yachts in the harbours of Monaco, or from their rooftop swimming pool has always felt quite elitist and with the addition of the Qatar Grand Prix coming next year, that trend looks set to continue.
For all the celebrity culture that has surrounded the sport in the past, the United States have never fully been on board with it. With their beloved NASCAR so fundamentally different to Formula One, and with no United States driver winning an F1 race since 1978 and no participant since 2015, you can see why they have, on the whole, struggled to love this global sport.
That could all be set to change however with the announcement that Miami, Florida will join the F1 Grand Prix calendar from 2022. This is a destination with a huge celebrity culture and now one of the most prestigious events on the planet will make it the place to be, or be pictured, on race weekend.
None other than David Beckham, chairman of MLS team Inter Miami has already said he was to be involved in the event. When Beckham is involved, it is a big deal. Tom Garfinkel, managing partner of the Miami GP, told Sky Sports that he had already met the former England captain to discuss the race: "We had dinner last week. David is very keen to come out to the event. He's very excited about coming to Miami for the F1 race.
"We've gotten a lot of calls from different celebrities, friends, wealthy people and powerful people who all are expressing a lot of interest to come.
"I would expect a large degree of celebrity attendance coming from all over the world for this event. There is a big celebrity culture in Miami."
The F1 Miami Grand Prix is coming May 8, 2022!
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Although the United States has long-featured on the F1 calendar, with races having been held across the country at 11 different tracks, this certainly feels different. For Formula One, the American audience is one that still remains relatively untapped due to the aforementioned issues with drivers and teams. But if celebrities go to the Miami Grand Prix, which will take place around the iconic Hard Rock stadium, the interest in the event will skyrocket.
Their pictures will feature all over social media and although the sport may be seen as a by-product of this showbiz, it will begin to feature on mainstream news and sports programmes over there. “The USA is a key growth market for us,” Stefano Domenicali, President & CEO of Formula 1 confirmed. “We are greatly encouraged by our growing reach in the US which will be further supported by this exciting second race.”
This may not be the traditional way to build a sport in the States, but with Beckham’s approval and the weight of his name behind it, it is sure to be a success. With rumours that a race on the Las Vegas strip could follow in the near-future, Formula One in the United States could be ready to explode.
This attention on the track this weekend turns to the Turkish Grand Prix. Max Verstappen is the current favourite at 5/6 with Betfred, while Lewis Hamilton is 6/4. Valteri Bottas can be backed at 16/1, Sergio Perez at 18/1 and Lando Norris at 25/1.