Only in Miami could a luxurious marina filled with mega yachts be created without water. This engineering marvel—an illusion that surrounded the dry-docked vessels with vinyl “water”—was part of the spectacle of the inaugural Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix, which premiered in May 2022 to sold-out crowds and star power such as Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, LeBron James and Michelle Obama.
The prestigious race returns to Miami from May 5 to 7 with even higher expectations. Now that it’s established that F1 racing is viable in a shared stadium space (where the Miami Dolphins and Hurricanes score touchdowns and tennis players serve aces at the Miami Open), the challenge this year is to improve upon last year’s success.
And by all measurements, the first F1 Miami Grand Prix was a huge success. More than 243,000 spectators visited the venue, dubbed the Miami International Autodrome during the three-day event, which culminated in a thrilling finish as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen beat Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. Financially, Miami’s local economy was fast-tracked with $349 million from people booking flights, hotel rooms, restaurants, yachts and more.
However, there were some bumpy patches (literally), with drivers complaining about the “wet” feel of the track and fans looking for a more complete experience and better views. To address this, Tyler Epp, president of the Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix, acknowledges that big changes have been made this year, including adding 3,000 grandstand seats for increased capacity and repaving the track.
“We have many exciting updates for year two,” Epp says. “We’re focused on three key areas: the track, premium hospitality and the overall campus experience. We completed the track repave after listening to feedback from the drivers’ council, F1 and the FIA. We hope the increased grip levels will help deliver competitive racing, enhancing the spectacle for fans who join us in person as well as the global TV audience.
“Additionally, the Paddock Club is now a permanent space with a rooftop viewing deck,” he continues, “which extends into Hard Rock Stadium itself, so guests can enjoy amazing views of turns 17, 18 and 19 and the start-finish straight. They’ll also be able to see the race cars driving down toward Turn 1.”
For true F1 fans, a new Team Village will be situated in the middle of the football field, offering guests behind-the-scenes access into the inner workings and operations of each team. This is where the drivers will be headquartered all weekend—that is, when they’re not zipping through the 19 turns at speeds of up to 198 mph.
Also new this year is Race Street on the west side of the venue. Visitors will be able to immerse themselves in local culture with an activation featuring street art, music and cuisine. “We are proud that our race allows us to showcase the intersection of so much of Miami,” Epp says. “Art and culture, modern luxury and rich tradition, sports and entertainment.”
Another Miami phenomenon—living large—means that high rollers can enjoy a superlative experience. The 72 Club presented by J.P. Morgan is the premier space with an elevated view over the south campus with temperature-con-trolled box-style seating and gourmet bites. For a more intimate atmosphere, there’s the Casa Tua Trackside Club, a charming lounge featuring traditional Italian cuisine.
Partiers will flock to the Hard Rock Beach Club with its 24,000-square-foot “beach,” resort-style pools, luxury cabanas and live entertainment (last year’s performers included Post Malone, Tiësto, Maluma and Zedd).
And yes, the MIA Marina will feature real water this year. Designer yachts from Azimut, Hinckley and Midnight Express will be surrounded by a dockside lounge, decorative pools and cabanas. Miami chef Michelle Bernstein curated the menu, and there will be a private bar for cabana guests.
“What I’m most proud of is that each space offers guests great views, amazing food from world-class chefs, unique beverages via our fantastic partners, and an incredible atmosphere,” Epp says. “So much thought has gone into the design process.” Of course, one VIP experience can’t be purchased: the invitation-only Palm Club, where most of the celebrities will be watching the race.
Tickets range from $590 for a three-day general-admission pass to $11,000 for the more luxurious spaces. f1miamigp.com