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With the ambition to equal the “glamour” and luxury of Monte Carlo, Miami hosts its first Formula One Grand Prix this weekend in Florida since 1959, when perhaps the most agonizing finale of a world championship in history was held in Sebring.
Now, 63 years later, the race aspires to emulate a kind of Monte Carlo Grand Prix but with the atmosphere and energy of Miami.
In fact, the designers of this circuit, built around the Hard Rock Stadium, decided to emulate a Monaco-like experience with a luxury yacht marina and, for leisure, the famous South Florida beaches, which cover almost 24,000 square feet (2,200 square meters) and swimming pools in the style of a tourist resort.
But for many, they went too far in their attempt, and since they couldn’t put real water in the middle of the circuit, they decided to recreate this marina with a hard, seawater-blue surface where the yachts stand, leading to numerous jokes and criticisms on the social networks.
The prices paid to enter the “Yacht Club” are no joke either and, according to the Miami Herald, those who wish to enter this area of the circuit must pay 9,500 dollars for an individual ticket, 19,000 for the double and 38,000 for the one that gives access to four people.
The roar of engines and speakers
As well as being very close to Fort Lauderdale, the so-called Yacht Capital of the World, the Grand Miami Grand Prix is also committed to an entertainment agenda where music will reign in the complex where the Miami Dolphins play American football and the Miami Tennis Open takes place.
This year, the first of the two Formula One circus stops in the United States seeks to highlight Miami’s pre-eminence in the dance and Latin music scene.
For this reason, this weekend of live music kicks off at the nearby Hard Rock Hotel, although the concerts can be followed from the stadium, with the performance of various DJs, later Post Malone, The Chainsmokers, Tiësto and Colombia’s Maluma, who will give a special performance on the podium after Sunday’s race.
But the major attraction will happen on the newly created asphalt of the Miami International Autodrome, which is 5.41 kilometers long, has 19 curves, three straights and an estimated maximum speed of 320 kilometers per hour.
This weekend, it will be premiered by the best drivers of the world, who arrive at the home of the Miami Dolphins with the intention of maintaining the excitement from the dispute between the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Checo Pérez, and the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.
But it will be difficult to match the emotion of what was experienced in what was the first Formula One Grand Prix in the United States. It was held on December 12, 1959, at the now-classic Florida circuit of Sebring, where Australian Jack Brabham dramatically won the first of his three world championships.
The sports chronicles of the time tell that Brabham opted not to fill the tank with his Cooper-Climax to gain some speed, but when he was leading on the last lap his car ran out of fuel.
He needed to score points, so he got out of the car, pushed his car up the hill and crossed the finish line in fourth position, enough to win the world championship.
In that race, New Zealander Bruce McLaren went first, who made history in this sport starting in Sebring, where he became at the age of 22 the youngest driver to win a Formula One World Championship race, a record that stood for 43 years until the Spaniard Fernando Alonso surpassed him in 2003.
And now, 63 years later, the new Florida Grand Prix is poised to make history.