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The off-track action that makes the Miami GP an F1 race like no other

From a fake marina and beach parties far from the sea to a celebrity-packed grid and superstar national anthems, the Miami Grand Prix has certainly taken F1’s off-track entertainment up a few notches since it arrived on the calendar two years ago.

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

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This year sees the third iteration of the event, which seems to get bigger and better each year. Las Vegas is a tough act to follow, so Miami is sure to be stepping things up yet again for 2024 – and with MoneyGram, you could be there.

If the number of celebrities in attendance and the amount of F1-related events taking place around the city are a measure of an F1 event’s success, then Miami is right up there as one of the best. And this is why.

Superstar fans

There were be plenty of superstars hanging out at the track last year and there will be more of the same this time, with globally recognized names from film, television, sports and even some of the world’s top tech entrepreneurs.

In 2023, the list of the great and the good included actors Tom Cruise, Vin Diesel, Diego Osorio, James Marsden and Michelle Rodriguez as well as TV’s Lisa Hochstein and comedian Dax Shepard.

From the world of sports, there were tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams and Roger Federer; American footballers Patrick Mahomes, CeeDee Lamb and Dak Prescott; skier Lindsay Vonn; NBA star Paolo Banchero and legend Shaquille O'Neal.

Music superstars Shakira, Timbaland, LL Cool J, Ludacris, Queen Latifah, Becky G and DaBaby were also in attendance; fashion was represented by Chantel Jeffries and Tommy Hilfiger; and billionaire tech entrepreneurs Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos also made an appearance.

Fans of Drive to Survive will be thrilled to hear that this year, former MoneyGram Haas F1 Team Principal Guenther Steiner will be returning to the paddock during the weekend in his new role as the event’s new ambassador.

Steiner, whose 10- year stint at Haas ended last year, is hugely popular in America due to his starring role on the Netflix documentary and he will be on hand for meet and greets with fans before and during the event.

Live music events have been a highlight in previous years and this time it is the turn of global megastar Ed Sheeran to take to the stage, with John Summit also set to make some noise at the Hard Rock Beach Club this year.

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Sheeran will headline the trackside stage on the Saturday while race day will see DJ Summit, one of the hottest names in dance music, pumping out high-energy tunes all day long for spectators.

Entertainment, everywhere

The Miami Gardens circuit is a bit of a trek from the city's famous South Beach neighborhood, but the race's influence will be will reach far and wide, with fast cars, late-night parties, and plenty of cool clubs hosting events in numerous spots.

The Wynwood Marketplace is at the heart of the action, with entertainment, simulators and virtual reality games. Last year, Lewis Hamilton had a pop-up shop there and even turned up on the Friday to sign autographs for his fans.

Bayfront Park and the Racing Fan Fest also have plenty going on, with Bayfront hosting Q&As with former champions, while the E11EVENMiami ultra-club hosts five nights of parties as part of its 24-hour Race Week EXPER11ENCE.

Inside the circuit, it is all about the classic Miami style, with music belting out in all directions, cameras snapping at selfie stations on every corner and bars providing a wide range of choice, from chillout to party vibes.

In the slightly bizarre environment of the marina, there are not one but two ‘clubhouse’ venues – the Yacht Club and the Boathouse – that combine a party atmosphere with great race views over the boats.

Hard Rock Beach Club brings South Florida’s beaches to the track alongside resort-style pools and luxury cabanas, with an area that spans turns 11 and 12 and creates a very unique way to watch an F1 race.

The stadium hosts the Team Village and fans can get a bird’s-eye view of the behind-the-scenes action from high up on the viewing deck – which is where one fan even spotted Max Verstappen in an ice bath last year!

Local artwork and murals by South Florida artists are also on display along with supercar displays, photo opportunities, free giveaways, interactive entertainment and even a gondola ride that takes fans high above the action.

There is plenty of specialty food too, with 81 different food and beverage concession stands on the race website including a smokehouse, various Latin options, fully-loaded burgers, sushi, craft beers, coffee, waffle cones and even an artisan baker.

Dressing up

F1 feels more on show in Miami than it does at most of the other races and it certainly plays up to the crowd, with some teams creating special liveries just for this event and most drivers sporting a one-off helmet design to make their mark.

Last year, Red Bull made a special effort for Miami, changing up its standard livery on the RB19 to a unique fan-created design that featured a pink, purple and light blue ribbons detail running down the sidepods.

In 2022, both AlphaTauri (now RB) and Williams created special ‘art cars’ to mark the inaugural event – although sadly both designs were far too radical to actually make it onto the racetrack and were just put on static show.

AlphaTauri’s design involved a mix of jade, lilac and light blue and a radical styling to reflect the ‘eclectic personality’ of Miami’s Wynwood district. The Williams had a graffiti livery created by Surge, inspired by vibrant cartoon illustrations.

The drivers have always come up with some unique designs for Miami, none more so than Lando Norris, who has taken a whacky sporting theme each time by turning his helmet into a basketball in 2022 and a beachball in 2023.

In 2022, Sebastian Vettel went for a snorkel and sea theme, representing the threat the region faces from flooding, while Daniel Ricciardo styled his helmet like a Hawaiian shirt and Pierre Gasly put a sunset on top of his.

Verstappen and Zhou Guanyu both went neon that year, with the Red Bull driver donning pink palm trees on his lid. However, he opted for a more subtle turquoise color switch on his standard design last season.

Albon stole the sporting vibe from Norris with a golf ball design for 2023 while Esteban Ocon, Logan Sargeant and Nico Hulkenberg opted for palm trees in turquoise and pink, dark blue and yellow-orange respectively, the latter with a matching shirt.

The helmet designs are becoming more and more avant-garde every year, so it will be fascinating to see how those helmet painters earn their money for this year’s race, and all will be revealed very soon.

Win tickets

Is a race in Miami the stuff of your dreams? If so, go to dreams.moneygram.com for the chance to make them come true in the MoneyGram Miami Dream Weekend.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Open 12:01 a.m. (CT) on March 22, 2024 to 11:59 p.m. (CT) on April 17, 2024 to U.S. permanent legal residents of the 50 states and D.C.; who are 21 years or older. Drawing on April 19, 2024 by 5:00 p.m. (CT). See Official Rules at https://dreams.moneygram.com

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