If there's one thing that Miami knows how to do, it's "over-the-top." Quickly becoming the East Coast Las Vegas, Miami is a city with a committment to the extraordinary and entertainment like no other.
The city's ability to embrace the ostentatious was on full display as the Miami Gardens inaugural F-1 Grand Prix kicked off over the weekend. Even for Formula One, it was an over-the-top event that proved Miami belongs in the tier of other F1 host cities.
Celebrities love an excuse to attend an event in Miami, and the GP was no exception; stars flocked to the inaugural race by the dozens.
Here's a look back at the weekend that has elevated Miami into a new category altogether; from stars to cars and everything in between.
Celebrities Light Up the Weekend in Miami
Miami's vibrant nightlife and popular music scene draws celebrities on any day of the week. But this weekend's Formula One event turned out to be a star magnet remarkable even by the SoFLA city's standards.
Soccer star David Beckham is known for spending time in the playground that is Miami, so it was no surprise to see him out and about over the weekend.
Page Six writes, "Bad Bunny, who dropped a new album over the weekend, was spotted with Red Bull driver Sergio Pérez, while supermodel Karlie Kloss was seen chatting with Mercedes team members. Kloss was later seen holding hands with husband Joshua Kushner on the grid.
NFL star Patrick Mahomes spent some time in the Ferrari hospitality suite, while soccer legend [Beckham] walked into the paddock looking dapper in a double-breasted white suit jacket.
Beckham was joined by his son Romeo, who was holding hands with girlfriend Mia Regan."
Other stars who were spotted entering the paddock include:
- Michael Jordan
- James Mardsden
- Ashton Kutcher
- Hailee Steinfield
- Michael Strahan
- Tom Brady
- Dwayne Wade
- Gabrielle Union
- DJ Khaled
But the parade of superstars didn't stop there. Serena and Venus Williams, Michelle Obama, Dax Shepard, Post Malone, Paris Hilton, James Cordon and more made the rounds over the weekend.
A number of less-than-A-list stars also were spotted around, including Bachelorette alum Dale Moss and others.
If you wanted to get a picture next to a celebrity, Miami's first F1 race was your best bet to meet several dozen of them.
What a Race Event
Of course, while celebrities never pass up a chance to look perfect in public, they were there for a singular reason: the big race.
And what an extraordinary race it was. But the revival of the sport in America's attention span and the success of this weekend's big race may be owed to an unexpected player: Netflix.
The Wall Street Journal writes, "'It’s glamour, it’s fashion, it’s energy, it’s multicultural,' F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali said of Miami. “We couldn’t be out of it.”
If the old-world charm of Monaco was the embodiment of what F1 used to be, Miami already represents everything it has become since a Netflix show called 'Drive to Survive' rejuvenated the sport’s image and turbocharged the sport’s U.S. popularity. The series was the platform’s No. 1 TV show world-wide when Season 3 came out in March 2021 and last season’s live races, which aired across ESPN channels, saw the highest U.S. ratings for F1 in history.
Past attempts to break into the juggernaut that is the US racing market have been met with lukewarm enthusiasm. States like Indiana and New York already have established racing fans, but running F1 races in other US venues just didn't seem to spark the fire.
Miami's fire, on the other hand, burned brightly.
Next year, F1 adds Las Vegas to the roster so there will be three American races, including the one in Austin, TX.
The success of the weekend is owed entirely to the fact that Miami knows how to do events, and every venue in the city scrambled to make the most special and remarkable one - teams fielded so many invitations that many stopped responding eventually. It's a typically Miami hustle that showed the city's hospitality in spades.
In addition, the track itself was a spectacle.
Per the WSJ, "In its efforts to be a little more like the French Riviera, the Miami circuit made room for 10 yachts so that a very select group of high-paying fans could kick off their shoes, clink glasses, and follow the race from the comfort of a teak deck. There was just one minor difference between the inside of Turn 6 here and the Quartier du Port in Monaco: Monaco has actual water.
The yachts here are in fact sitting in a dry dock covered by a 25,000-square foot sheet of teal plastic designed to look like a shimmering marina. For fans who paid upward of $9,000 for a group pass, the presence of Champagne easily compensated for the absence of water. And most important for organizers, no one could tell the difference from the helicopter television shot."
If sitting in the warm Miami breeze and gazing out over the ostentatious faux marina didn't impress you, the parade of VIP events and flawless execution should have.
Superstar driver Max Verstappen took the win over the weekend, beating out Charles Leclerc after a fierce back-and-forth.
The most accessible and multi-culturally celebrated F1 race in the United States is on the books now; and it set a pretty high bar for those coming after.