There was a VIP list to rival any race, some NFL activities for the drivers, as well as musical interludes from an actual musician and an actual driver. Catch up with Autoweek’s Formula 1 Miami GP paddock notebook.
The Stars Come Out ... Again
Last year’s Miami GP was a star-studded event and the sophomore round was no different.
Amazon chairman Jeff Bezos and Twitter CEO Elon Musk were both present on Saturday while on Sunday tennis legends Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Venus Williams were in attendance, along with Tom Cruise, Vin Diesel, the Jonas Brothers, Patrick Mahomes, Ludacris, Michelle Rodriguez, Tommy Hilfiger, Chris Gayle, Lindsey Vonn, as well as Jerry Bruckheimer, who is producing the F1-themed movie which will star Brad Pitt.
Federer’s presence created a moment with security as three-time F1 champion Sir Jackie Stewart broke through a cordon in order to ask the Swiss ace whether he could talk to Martin Brundle during his iconic grid walk on Sky F1. Security attempted to stop Stewart (how dare they, really) but Federer courteously obliged—and in the process creating another clip for the highlights reel of Brundle’s grid walks.
Gasly Wins the NFL/F1 Combine
Thursday’s media activities included an NFL/F1 crossover where a number of drivers participated in a series of football training drills. The drivers were coached by several Miami Dolphins players, including Jaelan Phillips, Jevon Holland and Emmanuel Ogbah.
Drivers were timed to find who was the fastest across a series of five training exercises: a cone drill, agility pads, pop-up pads, ladder drills and finally throwing a football into a net target. A rolling scoreboard was updated on the big screens inside the Hard Rock Stadium and it was Alpine’s Pierre Gasly who emerged fastest, clocking a time of 21.63 seconds, to narrowly beat Mercedes reserve Mick Schumacher.
Aston shortly to move into new home
Aston Martin is expected to move into its new factory at the end of the month.
The factory’s construction was delayed due to the pandemic but a move-in date of Q2 2023 was long targeted and that is set to be realized later in May. The state-of-the-art facility has been constructed on land behind its existing factory at Silverstone, which has been in use since the early 1990s, and which the expanding Aston Martin team has now outgrown. Once the move has been completed then the old factory will be demolished.
This Is 'The Formula'
Will.i.am dancing on the track in Jeddah while Lil Wayne raps about Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. No, this isn’t some kind of fever dream, but a new collaboration between the artists and Formula 1. The song, called "The Formula," is the first of F1-inspired tracks as part of a new Global Artist in Residence alliance.
“It’s a thrill to merge my passions – high performance auto racing and music—in this pioneering alliance,” said will.i.am. “Our goal is to shatter traditional boundaries by fusing music and racing, creating unforgettable experiences that introduce new fans to the excitement of F1 and showcasing the world’s finest artists and performers.”
Leclerc Making Some Real Music
Another to release tracks has been Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc. He has been learning the piano for several years and after the Australian GP released his first piece – which on Spotify has had almost three million listens. Following on from the Miami GP a new near-three-minute track, titled "MIA23 (1:2)" was uploaded.
“If they are ready to be into depressing music I’m the one to go to,” joked Leclerc. “I mean my music is not that good... I am a racing driver and I did that out of fun.”
Vettel to Star at Festival of Speed
Sebastian Vettel will return to a Formula 1 cockpit later this year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The recently-retired four-time champion is to drive multiple cars from his own personal collection, including the Williams FW14B and Ayrton Senna’s McLaren MP4/8.
Vettel has been focusing on sustainability projects and, as per his demonstration run in the Williams FW14B at Silverstone last year, his outings at Goodwood will come using only sustainable fuels. At this year’s FoS approximately 20% of all cars that take the famous hill will be run on sustainable fuels.
“It's great to be coming back to Goodwood after all these years,” said Vettel, who last visited the event in 2012. “I can't wait to get behind the wheel of some of my most memorable cars which will be running on sustainable fuel over the weekend. I’m a passionate racer and it’s important to me that we continue to enjoy driving iconic racing cars today and in the future, but that we do so in a responsible way.”