“A Selfie With Guenther F*cking Steiner”: VIP Guests’ Motive Behind Miami GP Presence Questioned Amidst Zero Interest in Racing

Published 05/11/2022, 4:24 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Miami Grand Prix – Miami International Autodrome, Miami, Florida, U.S. – May 7, 2022 Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. during qualifying REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Superstar athletes, Hollywood celebrities, and Formula 1. It was a weird combination, but definitely a hit with everyone who attended the inaugural Miami GP. The week was filled with entertainment for the fans and Formula 1 drivers alike as the sport celebrated its first race in the Magic City.

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The inaugural F1 race in Miami has also turned out to be one of the most expensive races of the season. The cheapest grandstand ticket costed somewhere around $640. To give you context, it was the second most expensive ticket after Monaco Grand Prix. The event, though, attracted an enormous crowd, and organizers sold the tickets out in just three days.
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The Miami GP looked to create a Monaco-like aura, with yachts and clubs for VIPs to attend. Some, including F1 journalist Joe Saward, believe that the Grand Prix’s hype and expense went too far. He also pointed out the figures behind the tickets.

Was Miami Grand Prix too expensive?

Joe Saward in his blog knocks down the expense of the Miami GP. Three-day Paddock Club tickets were $12,000 per person and he also revealed that some sold them for $35,000. As a result, he believes many attended the Grand Prix for other reasons apart from the race itself.

Formula One F1 – Miami Grand Prix – Miami International Autodrome, Miami, Florida, U.S. – May 8, 2022 Fans are seen on a boat during the race REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo

In his words, “a clear sign that the people buying were not there to go racing, but rather for some other ego-related activity.” The Paddock Club ticket in Monaco costs around $8,000, whereas it is priced at $4,500 in all other venues across Europe.

The number of VIPs on show was also huge. Martin Brundle’s awkward grid walk gave a glimpse of the number of household names in the event. Joe Saward, however, believes with the number of celebrities and athletes on the show, being there was the only thing that mattered. In a way, he believes the huge celebrity attraction stole the race’s spotlight.

The Briton wrote, “It felt like every VIP in Miami was there to be seen to have been there, perhaps with a selfie with a driver, or the ultimate prize, a selfie with Gunther F*cking Steiner.” 

Miami GP organizer speaks out on the expensive ticket prices

The Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins, hosted the successful race in Miami. The Miami GP’s organizer, Garfinkel, believes that demand and supply were partly the reason for the high expense of the tickets.

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He said, “Well, it’s partly the scarcity and supply and demand. I mean, we never really did a public on-sale and we had so much demand that ticket prices were partly a function of that.”

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On the contrary, the Grand Prix attracted huge numbers. Further, the sport’s viewership is constantly rising, especially in the States. At the same time, do you think the Miami GP was a success? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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Rahul Madhavan

269 articles

Rahul Madhavan is a Formula 1 writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Bachelor's degree in business administration, he is pursuing his love for sports in the form of writing. Rahul is an avid McLaren fan, who also enjoys writing about soccer.

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