Column | The VIP situation in F1

Column | The "VIP situation" in F1

15 May - 10:32

The recent Miami Grand Prix played host to a variety of celebrities in a star-studded event. However, as fans rightly pointed out, the whole ordeal came off as somewhat tacky. This left a bad taste in the mouth for many, not to mention a variety of other issues for live attendees as well. We take a look at the issues and the future of them in F1.

What happened?

The Miami Grand Prix was a glitzy event, with special celebrities and many activities there to meet the live attendants. The likes of David Beckham, Serena Williams, Tom Brady and Michelle Obama were all present at the event. However, things notably took a turn for the worse on Sunday. During SkySports commentator Martin Brundle’s “Grid Walk” (where he meanders through the paddock to get quotes and insights from figures on the grid), he was met with a packed start-finish straight. While trying to navigate his way around, he attempted to interview some of the celebrities as well and the responses were…laughable. Many seemed to not care, or at best, throw the buzzwords they had learnt in the few hours they were at the venue.

Some complaints also surrounded the VIP experience at the Miami Grand Prix, with the experience falling far from expectations. After the high fees required for entry, many were left unimpressed by the facilities. The fake marina and water were seen to be farcical, while some attendants were left confused as to how to get around the venue in the first place. Overall, it left a fair few with a negative perception of the whole experience, potentially limiting the option for returning spectators.

Will this continue?

Overall, it wasn’t the brightest showing from the sport as a whole. While this clueless behaviour has been exhibited at the likes of the Monaco and US Grands Prix, it has never really been to this extent. Miami had been marketed to a high extent and needed a strong showing to deliver on these promises. Unfortunately, it does seem like it has failed to make the first impressions required.

However, F1 still needs celebrities to attend. Cross-promotion from these events is an important way that the sport gets to continue to grow. When celebrities post about attending the Grand Prix weekend, many of their fans tend to view the social media pages of F1 and could eventually follow the sport more closely. In turn, the F1 fans get to see the celebrities get to learn more about the celebrities in attendance and potentially follow their lives as well.

As for the facilities, F1 has major ground to make. These complaints are serious and could do a massive amount of damage to the overall growth in the region. “Word-of-mouth” advertising is one of the most powerful ways to convince others to attend or avoid an event, so F1 must make sure that the ones who are paying top dollar enjoy their time.

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