Miami hosts its first-ever F1 race this weekend, but the sport’s expansion into the United States has had a “chronic” consequence.
Formula 1 is certainly making its mark in America, but it will cost fans a pretty penny to catch the action.
The season continues this weekend at the first-ever Miami Grand Prix, which will see Florida State host its first F1 race in 63 years.
Watch all the practice, qualifying and races of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship™ live on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try free for 14 days >
For the fifth round of the season, the drivers will complete 57 laps on the 5.4 km circuit of the Miami International Autodrome, which includes 19 turns and surrounds the Hard Rock Stadium. It will be the 11th venue in the United States to host an F1 race, and the 77th overall.
Miami has been added to this year’s schedule, which means the United States joins Italy as the only two countries to host more than one race this season.
And as part of F1’s continued expansion into the US market, the US will host three races in 2023 after a Las Vegas race was confirmed for next year’s calendar.
But the growing popularity of F1 in America means ticket prices and the hospitality experience have skyrocketed for fans.
The average ticket price for Monday’s race (AEST) is said to be just over AU$3,000, three times the average price for the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, last year.
Tickets sold out within 40 minutes and grandstand tickets at the start and finish line are sold on second-hand venues for up to A$14,000.
Around 240,000 fans are expected to flock to the Miami track over the three days and they’ll have to cough up some cash to enjoy the experience.
Motorsport editor for The temperatureRebecca Clancy said ‘what strikes you is the size of the hospitality area – every inch that could have been used to welcome and entertain has been taken by sponsors, partners, teams and restaurants’ .
Food, drink and merchandise at the venue won’t come cheap for fans lucky enough to get through the turnstiles.
“The 240,000 fans who will enter the doors over the three days who will not be tasted and dined will be greeted with sky-high prices if they want to stay hydrated, with temperatures expected to top 30C,” Clancy wrote.
According to the report, a burger and fries could cost you up to $29, a bottle of Heineken costs $14, and a Mercedes cap costs $182.
Organizers even went the extra mile to give American delicacies the glamorous F1 treatment, including an AU$21 hot dog topped with caviar and ketchup.
F1 fans have been mercilessly mocked at the Miami circuit this week after footage emerged of the fake marina located in the inside section of the track.
The race was originally planned to run along the city’s waterfront, but the track was carved out of the Hard Rock Stadium parking lot instead.
Hoping to recreate a harbor vibe, several boats were towed inside Turn 7, with watercolor wallpaper replicating the Miami Marina. Clancy suggested the scene looked “garish” or “vulgar”.
But no matter how tacky the circuit looks or how expensive tickets are, Miami will be judged on the quality of racing at the track.
All eyes will be on the battle between Championship leader Charles Leclerc and reigning World Champion Max Verstappen as they resume hostilities.
The Miami Grand Prix is scheduled to start Monday morning at 5:30 a.m. (AEST).
Originally published as ‘Vulgar’: F1’s ‘appetizing’ problem on display at Miami Grand Prix