Formula 1 seems delighted with the popular success of the first Miami Grand Prix in its history, Stefano Domenicali having said that this event set a new standard for the discipline.
Richard Cregan, CEO of the Miami Grand Prix, explains the approach that was adopted to achieve such a result.
“For our approach to the Grand Prix, what was really important for us was figuring out what we wanted to achieve.
“We quickly came up with some good ideas for delivering a good race: designing a circuit that was going to use all the space we had around Hard Rock Stadium. And second important thing: ensuring a good customer experience and making sure everyone who came on Sunday evening will want to come back, so we worked with these two concepts.”
“As you know, the FIA controls all the elements that guarantee the safety of the drivers and the spectators and therefore it is the number 1 priority. Regarding the concept, the long-term vision of Tom Garfinkel was really about the customer. That can we do to differentiate ourselves from others? How can we do better?
“So we looked at different ideas. We targeted Miami as the destination, and then Miami Gardens was the set location to host the circuit.”
“Our integration into the community is of course very important, and it was already long before Formula 1. So it’s kind of a tradition that Miami Dolphins owner Mr Stephen Ross and Tom want to continue.”
“For the circuit itself, we are working closely with Formula 1 on the simulation. There have been several versions of this circuit. We think that the version that has been chosen should offer a good race, especially with the three DRS zones. We can’t wait until Sunday.”
Many activities outside the circuit
The ‘fake marina’ has garnered a lot of attention before the weekend has even started, but Cregan says Mimi has plenty of activities to offer off the circuit.
“We also have the beach, I think that’s definitely a point of interest for everyone too! The Hard Rock beach is quite impressive. There are two pools there, there is actually a beach Looking at the marina, looking at the beach, looking at all the different options that we have on campus, we have the gondola and we have all of that, what we’re trying to do is, number one, look at Miami as a destination – what does Miami have to offer? – and then reflect that. And Tom’s vision has always been to reflect what Miami is in the tour itself and the tour offerings.”
“We have 32 different hospitality outlets. There are restaurants, most downtown restaurants are duplicated here by their operators. We didn’t take their concepts, they brought them here. So that’s also a huge difference. There is something for everyone. And satisfying every person, that’s what we try to achieve.”
Satisfy fans around the world
Formerly in charge of organizing the Abu Dhabi and Russian Grands Prix, Cregan explains that each circuit requires a different approach.
“I think it’s very different. Whatever market you’re in, it’s like any product, you have to adapt your product to the market. But I think we have a mix here in the sense that we have a local product that is literally Miami-esque, but then you have the whole of the United States and then you have the global level.”
“We have people coming from all over the world, it’s amazing how many people are looking for passes, looking for tickets from all over the world. So we want to give it that touch of what people expect from Miami in addition to racing.”
“I don’t think you can have two races that are exactly the same. That’s why people like to go to Monza or they want to go to Imola or they want to go to Spa because those Grands Prix are all so different.”
“Zandvoort is an amazing circuit and a great job has been done there to maintain the historic element but then create excitement for modern F1 racing. But still, it’s Zandvoort, they’ve kept the Zandvoort DNA and I think that’s what we all need to do as stakeholders is to make sure that we meet the expectations of the fans, that we give them that element.”
“If you take Spa, we all know about Spa and those big races on the calendar. There have been some changes, the organizers want to make sure it doesn’t interfere with the charisma of the race but that this circuit still remains safe despite everything. People will go there for a reason, they will go to Monaco, they will come here. The bigger the difference between these races, the better it is for the sport, in the future.”
Rediscover the passion of the time of Andretti and Fittipaldi
Cregan sees no problem with the multiplication of the number of races in the United States, believing that each event could cohabit without problem on the F1 calendar.
“Absolutely. We have three big events. I think they have very different customer demographics. And I really believe the United States is a huge market.”
“What a lot of people tend to forget is the importance of motorsport in the United States. It’s a huge country, it has a huge number of motorsport fans and it has for a very, very long time. “
“What we’re doing in Miami with Formula 1 is we’re rekindling in some ways a passion for F1 that was there in the days of Andretti and Fittipaldi and all that. Those are good times. And I wouldn’t say we reinvent, we rekindle the passion, I think, that’s the right way to look at it.”