Okay, I definitely roasted the 2023 F1 Miami Grand Prix a few weeks ago, but not because it was making an effort at being more entertaining. More because the entertainment felt cheap and forced, which has no place in modern Formula 1. Even with the shambles of the driver intros, Haas team boss Guenther Steiner believes that we should have more entertainment like Miami.
While the argument may sound dead-on-arrival, he has extremely sound reasoning for it. There is nothing wrong with having a bit of razzmatazz surrounding a race weekend, but it has to be truly entertaining, not dumb. While speaking to Motorsport.com, Steiner explained his reasons for wanting more entertainment clearly.
"I think entertainment here got a lot better from the old days," said Steiner. "In the old days, we went racing, cookie-cutter racing. We do one race, we do the next one, we do nothing around it. We went racing for the motorsport fan.” He further explained that his experience living in North Carolina gave him experience with American culture. “People want constant entertainment, not just sitting out there waiting three hours until the next time the cars go out. They want something to do, something to consume.”
Steiner thinks that it wouldn’t hurt to spice up some of the classic races with more non-racing related activities. And he’s not wrong, Americans do enjoy getting more for their money and especially enjoy not being bored. The same could apply for European races and could help up attendance at classic tracks like Monza, Spa-Francorchamps, and Silverstone.
Speaking from personal experience as a motorsports fan, it is true that F1 races offer a lot less for a lot more money. The typical IMSA, NASCAR, or Indycar race gives fans huge access, plenty of general admission areas, easily purchased paddock passes, and pit passes. An F1 race is just the race, with very few places to go, and zero access to the paddock without insanely expensive passes.
Instead of spending money on silly driver introductions, give folks more access for their money. American motorsports is quite open and welcoming to fans. F1, however, has always balanced exclusivity as a major point of leverage. Either way, I think Steiner has a point. It’s whether F1 can implement it in a way that is worthy of top-flight sport.
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