F1 drivers and few team bosses shared mixed reaction towards the Miami GP introductions undertaken just before the national anthem and the race start.

After the boxer-like announcement undertaken during the 2017 US GP at the Circuit of the Americas to increase its fanbase in the country, F1 eventually found glory in the American market through its Netflix show Drive to Survive.

The upward trend has hit such that they now have three races in America in Miami, Texas and Las Vegas – a situation which was talked about but no one thought that it could be a reality. It has, though, frowned its traditional markets like United Kingdom and Europe.

The American way has already been criticised by people alike and the latest Miami GP introduction ceremony hosted by will.i.am and LL Cool J was a hot topic post the completion of the F1 grand prix, which wasn’t the best the sport has seen.

A lot of the F1 drivers were not happy with the introduction ceremony especially with the timing as it was held just before the national anthem and grand prix start. They feel it disrupted their preparation and this was an additional work amid host they already do.

With the increasing demands, the F1 drivers undertake a lot more sponsor events which take away a lot of time. While a lot didn’t like as much, some were fine with it. The introduction – while it was a local American thing – will happen at 6-7 events in 2023.

Here’s the host of F1 drivers and couple of team bosses’ view –

Max Verstappen: “To be honest, I did have enough preparation before, to speak to my engineers and stuff for the race. But yeah, personally, I think this is just a bit of a personality thing, right? Some people like to be more in the spotlight, some people don’t. I personally don’t. So for me, I think that naturally, of course, what they did today is not necessary. I prefer to just talk to my engineers, walk to my car, put the helmet on and drive. But of course, I understand the entertainment value. So I just hope, of course, we don’t have that every single time, because we have a very long season, so we don’t need an entry like that every time. But it also depends a bit on the crowd, I think, in terms of what you want in terms of entertainment. So yeah, I think it’s just a personal preference as well from the drivers. For me personally not.”

Sergio Perez: “I think as long as we don’t do it on too many occasions, I think it’s nice to do it once for the crowd, but we also have to be very respectful of the drivers, that we need our own time to get ready. It’s just minutes before the race start and I think as long as this doesn’t happen very often, it’s OK.”

Fernando Alonso: “I understand the point of view of everybody but I’m not a big fan of those kinds of things just before the race. If we have to do it, I think we need to remove some of the other stuff we are doing like the parade lap or something like that, because it’s really in the middle of the preparation with the engineers and the strategy meeting. And I disagree a little bit if we do it, we have to do it everywhere because I don’t think that the Miami fans are better than the Italian fans in Imola or in Spain or in Mexico or in Japan. I think we need to make everyone with the same rules and the same show before the race.”

Charles Leclerc: “I think it could’ve been organised a bit better and the time we have spent there could’ve been made better. I think for the fans it is nice to have a different way of introducing us on the grid so on that I am not against but I think the timings need to improve.”

Lando Norris: “None of the drivers like it, but it’s not for us at the end of the day. We do a lot of things. It’s probably the only sport where we’re so close to the fans. We do so much publicity for the fans. As drivers, we all just want to sit down and focus on what we need to focus on and not do so much TV and everything. But it’s a business at the end of the day, so it’s what we’ve got to do. But adding more and more stuff like this, no driver likes it. We’ve said it. We’ve said, ‘You can’t just keep putting things in and making us do more and more. There is not one other sport where you do this. We do so much. There’s a limit to how much we should do. We are here to still focus on doing the job of what we’re doing and not just be in front of a camera the whole day.”

George Russell: “We spoke about it as drivers on Friday night. Everybody’s got different personalities. I guess it’s the American way of doing things in sport. Personally, it’s probably not for me. But that’s just my personal opinion, because I’m here to race. I’m not here for the show. I’m here to race, I’m here to drive and I’m here a win. And yeah, but I guess we have to roll with it. It is distracting, because we’re on the grid for half an hour in all of our overalls in the sun. And I don’t think there’s any other sports in the world that 30 minutes before you go out to do your business, that you’re out there in the sun, all the cameras on you and making a bit of a show of it.

“I can appreciate that in the entertainment world. But as I said, we only want the best for the sport. We’re open to changes. But I guess we wouldn’t want to see it every weekend.  I don’t think it will be every weekend. I think it’ll be the big races. Yeah, I’m not too sure to be honest. The thing I love every single race is the national anthem, that sort of pumps you up and it’s sort of respectful to the country that we’re racing at but mixed feelings on the additional show.”

Nyck de Vries: “I mean, I think it’s good to continue to develop the sport and to look at areas to make it more entertaining. But ultimately, the show on track is most important. I think, today was a quite dull race. It’s quite long, because we were basically half an hour on the grid. But yeah, I think that they just need to find a balance. It won’t be happening every weekend. So I think we can we can deal with it. The US really knows how to put on a good show and to make an entertaining race. So yeah, it was from that perspective, an entertaining weekend.”

Lewis Hamilton: “I think it is cool that the sport is continuously growing and evolving and they are not just doing the same things they have 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 then he is there, that was cool. You have got Will.i.am, who is an incredible artist. You have got Serena and Venus standing there. It was cool.”

Pierre Gasly: “It was too long, not enough before to jump in the car. I don’t know how the other drivers feel, but I feel like sometimes you need to be down and kind of in your bubble right before you jump in the car. I think overall, it was good to try and I’m sure we’re going to do small tweaks next time we do a similar thing.”

Valtteri Bottas: “There’s no other sport where the athletes do so much stuff before the start of the race or event. There needs to be a limit at some point.”

Nico Hulkenberg: “I think it was okay for me. I didn’t feel disturbed in my preparation process or anything, it was quite nice when you see other drivers going out and the crowds goes bananas. I had some goosebumps actually, so I quite liked that part. For me, I didn’t really mind it.”

Alexander Albon: “It is okay, it is a show. We are in the show business now.”

Christian Horner: “If it’s good for the business, fine for me, it’s all about the two hours from when the lights go out. I mean, we’re obviously in a different marketplace. You can see the drivers perhaps look a little awkward, or some of them. But if it’s embracing a new audience, then that’s down to the down to the promoter. I’m more interested in what happens as soon as the light goes out. It’s quite tough for the drivers to be honest with you to be to be running through dry ice and high fiving A-listers that they’re probably not quite sure who they are, then thrown into the national anthem and then expected to deliver. There’s not many sports that the athletes have to do that.

“And so I think we need to be respectful. Maybe there should be the team principal coming through the dry ice. But I think that we just need to find a balance between what is show and what is the sporting element. That’s why I put our chief marketing officer up on the podium. I think there’s a lot of experimenting going on. This is a new market, US sport is different. You’re not going to see drivers running on through dry ice at Silverstone. It’s different things for different markets. And of course, you can understand Liberty and the promoters exploring different things, because they’re competing with other sports. But I think it’s finding that finding that balance that’s right and appropriate.”

Toto Wolff: “I think it wasn’t so bad for the drivers. I think we should try for them to do some dancing and then you get some choreography, you getting a point (jokes). I think we have got to try things. Everybody tries to do the best and it was exciting for the fans seeing the drivers come out one by one. I think it was not done in a way that it looked like comedy.”

Here’s how the F1 intros panned out: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.will-i-am-performs-new-single-the-formula-with-live-orchestra-to-kick-off-miami-grand-prix.1765264509268581711.html

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