Miami F1 Grand Prix roasted, compared to Fyre Festival after Max Verstappen win

As debate continues to swirl about the true glamor of the Miami Grand Prix, some have likened it to the infamous Fyre Festival.

Over the weekend, Miami hosted the inaugural Formula One Miami Grand Prix — a sport whose luxury branding has made it synonymous with glamor, superyachts and European royalty.

The city spent much of the last year building its 5.41km track and touting the over-the-top viewing experiences at every turn, the New York Post reports

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There was a beach club in the middle of the track with imported sand and swimming pools. Ten yachts were brought into the “marina”, a VIP area with DJs, top-shelf alcohol and pretty people. (So ​​what if there was no real water? The boats were on dry ground and painted blue to make it look like the sea on TV.)

Gondolas, branded by Heineken, hovered high above the track to give viewers a bird’s-eye view of the race. Casa Tua, one of Miami’s top restaurants, set up a nightclub at Turn 1.

Hendrick’s Gin had a bar with actors spraying passers-by with water guns. Celebrities including Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, and David Beckham were seen in the paddock on race day.

Yet, while Miami charged first-class prices to participate in the fun — even the cheapest grandstand seats cost almost a grand, while VIP tickets reached the $AUD45,000 mark — some attendees said the event was anything but five-star.

“For what was touted as a world-class experience came away feeling like the Fyre Festival of F1 races,” said one 26-year-old who works in financial services and declined to provide his name for fear of backlash over his attending such a pricey event.

“He paid $1175 for his ticket and drove almost 10 hours from Alpharetta, Georgia, where he lives, for the festivities.

In Monaco, drivers zip around century-old palaces and stunning beachfront property; in Miami, winner Max Verstappen sped around the Hard Rock Stadium. Meanwhile, F1 races from Singapore to Monaco usually have a waterfront component for yachts; here, the “water” was painted on.

“I’d say just the lack of the true marina circuit cheapened the whole experience,” he said. “It was thousands for a ticket to a track that was basically a parking lot.”

Trendy restaurant experiences were promised, so he was confused by some of the food choices. “Inside the first entry gate, they had a potato stand that was really weird. It didn’t have fries, but diced potatoes,” he said. “It seemed odd for an F1 race.”

Marcy, a 39-year-old who works in communications in Los Angeles who didn’t want to give her last name because a colleague pulled in special favors to get her tickets (she still paid $3600 for two), said she actually enjoyed the hospitality.

“The opening ceremonies, the music line-up, the fans, all the top-notch food vendors at every corner, the talented drivers, and all the drama at each turn,” she said. “It was actually really fun once you got there.”

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