F1’s first Miami Grand Prix gets “nine out of ten” from Wolff

2022 Miami Grand Prix

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff hailed Formula 1’s first Miami Grand Prix as a triumph, saying even some of the problems with the track worked in its favour.

“This event was spectacular,” said Wolff in response to a question from RaceFans after the race.

“The city is literally totally hyped around Formula 1. The fan support is great. Honestly, I’ve never been in a race that created such a buzz in a place and interest like Miami this time around.

“You can’t cross the the paddock because there’s so many people and that’s good. I think we need to be happy that we have such a strong support.”

Following practice drivers warned the severe lack of grip off-line would make it difficult to overtake. However Wolff believes the Miami International Autodrome produced good racing.

“You can say what you want, it was a first. Sometimes tracks get it wrong. This one didn’t get it wrong.

“We had two good DRS zones and even the track breaking in turn 17, as an example, gave great racing. It was very difficult to brake into turn 17. If you lost the line, then obviously you lost a position or two.

“It’s clear that the drivers will say ‘well, that’s not optimum’ but for racing and for entertainment, great stuff. That’s exactly how it should be. It’s almost like a trick gravel bed that you need to put in there to make exciting action.

“So all in all, I would say for the first, nine out of ten.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner also praised the event. “It’s been great the reception that we had, the passion that has been here,” he said.

“The interest in Formula 1 is sky-high. You can see by the reception that we got today. Americans certainly know how to host an event and they’ve done a great job with that. And I think it was a good enough race to get everybody excited.”

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2022 Miami Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

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34 comments on “F1’s first Miami Grand Prix gets “nine out of ten” from Wolff”

  1. He must have been watching a different race..

    1. He was watching “stock” racing….
      I don’t know what sound a drum kit does.

  2. That’s exactly how it should be. It’s almost like a trick gravel bed that you need to put in there to make exciting action.

    Don’t defend the track surface breaking up as good for racing! That’s one step too far. Suboptimal is fine, but breakup is unacceptable. F1 isn’t rallycross.

    1. I think Wolff had to many drinks when he said that. The show was big but not really good the race soso and the track was breaking up. The interviewer was bad that should be much beter and was expecting much beter…

      1. greasemonkey
        9th May 2022, 15:01

        The interview was Willie T Ribbs, the subject of the documentary/movie “Uppity”, which was about his life as a black American open wheel (and other) race driver.

        So while the interviewing itself was maybe not as a casual observer might expect, that they chose him for an F1 race in the American Deep South is maybe cool.

        1. That was a nice jester but I must say never seen that movie but i remember a black american driver in the 1970s was this that person?

          Still the reaction of Sainz, Charles and Max says it all there was not much of chemistry going on. Maybe something to brief them on before doing interviews…

    2. someone or something
      9th May 2022, 9:28

      Conspiracy theory alert: This isn’t Wolff’s actual opinion. But, within the tight confines of the forced propaganda line (and I mean, wasn’t it striking how not only did you not hear a single negative voice, but every single opinion you’ve heard was nothing short of ecstatic?), going over the top and praising the unpraisable (likening a track that breaks up even a wheel has turned to a gravel trap ON the track, and saying that’s a good thing – it doesn’t get much more on the nose, if you ask me) was the only sanction-free way of saying the unspeakable, namely that no, everything wasn’t great.

      Well, either that, Wolff is so utterly out of touch that he actually meant it as a compliment.
      Regardless of his intentions, his words speak for themselves and serve as testimony of how Kafkaesque this whole event has been.

    3. I thought he must have meant “braking”… but no, it seems he was actually saying the track “breaking” was good.

      What has F1 become?!?

  3. He can’t exactly say anything else though can he?

    You’re never going to get an objective view of a new race from a team principal especially one carrying the name of a major car manufacturer.

  4. It’s all about ‘the show’ folks!

    Did anyone notice the fake grandstand cheer every time there was a pass on track?

    1. Usually when the director was showing something other than the pass… Nearly as badly done as Monaco

      1. Yeah, the TV direction was pretty jarring to me as well @falken, far too many moments missed due to things like crowd/celeb shots or keeping the camera on the leaders where not much was happening while somewhere else things went on.

        We never got to see the tangle at the start, we never got to see why Alonso got that second time penalty, or why Ricciardo did. Did they ever show us the incident with Stroll and Magnussen?

        Overall the race was pretty good (that SC helped, right), but there were certainly issues that need solving.

        1. @bascb I watched the F1 TV stream (illegally, i must admit). Best race I’ve ever watched. Not because of the action, but the way it was broadcasted.

          First the commentary team was GREAT. They never talked about the “blizz” of the event, only focused on track. They even showed split screens! I never missed anything. They actually picked Vettel-Schumacher incident live onboard, while also showing the battle between Perez and Sainz.

          It was absolutely brilliant. How that isn’t shown worldwide beats me… it was like watching a completely different series.

          1. I can defenitely agree that their (F1TV) race commentary is far better than anything else around @fer-no65, and they did give us at least some of the interesting moments in a split screen view, but we still missed several other moments here.

            Sadly they can only do so much when the main feed is do so bad a job this year though.

          2. If you thought that was good, the Pit Lane Channel that used to be there was even better. Split screen the entire race with good commentary. I’m still a bit miffed that they changed it

    2. Did anyone notice the fake grandstand cheer every time there was a pass on track?

      @sonnycrockett No, but I saw the fake marina waving :oP

    3. Was at the race. Crowd noise was definitely not pumped in. Real cheers every time. Happy to post some iPhone videos as evidence. This event was designed for the attendees which overwhelmingly enjoyed it. I’m sorry if that TV coverage for those who were not there has caused so much consternation.

      1. good to hear that those in attendance had a good time!

      2. Indeed, every time I read about the fake cheers it turns out to be, ironically, fake criticism, in the sense the cheers were real.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          9th May 2022, 21:52

          @esploratore1 @spencer
          they very often do not synchronise correctly, so quite clearly are pre recorded cheers that are then played at random times. Sometimes it is genuine, as can be proved both on tv and by fans in the grandstands. but most of the times this year you have heard cheers, they have just been inserted. like for instance when we have empty grandstands…. That is where the complaints of fake cheers started.

          It is so obvious when they are not live cheers as when they show a replay, all the sounds of the cars are there as before, but cheers are missing – clearly implying that they likely have someone who’s job it is to press a button on a mixing desk to play these pre recorded cheers whenever something slightly exciting happens when it is actually live. But this actually makes it less live, and ridiculous to think that the replays sound exactly like it did in reality where as the supposedly live coverage doesn’t just have live audio. I personally think this is just wrong.

          1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            9th May 2022, 21:57

            Other obvious times where it was fake were times like Saudi Arabia at the start of the race where you heard a cheer start, not quite finish and then start again. It will have been whoever was at the desk and accidentally pressing the button twice (or whatever way they insert it). You can’t have a real crowd sound like they cut in and out like that. A great deal of the cheers are not live, and I think a good word for that is fake.

  5. petebaldwin (@)
    9th May 2022, 9:34

    That says all you need to know about the direction of the sport. A dull, processional race consisting of un-defendable DRS passes and a safety car to artificially create some vague excitement at the end scores a 9/10…. In effect, there isn’t much room for improvement for it to be considered a perfect, greatest of all time race.

    You really have to worry for the sport if that’s the case. They don’t want new teams involved and they want races to be like the one we just saw this weekend. Yikes….

  6. To be honest, F1 has been at far worst venues that this.

  7. Electroball76
    9th May 2022, 9:59

    I’ll give it a nein.

  8. Toto was talking rubbish really. 9/10! They’re all just following the official party line. It’s quite demeaning really. At least Horner’s comments were a little more balanced.

    In fairness, there did seem to be a good crowd and they mostly seemed to be entertained by the event. There was lots of effort made to make it glitzy and high profile. There did seem to be enthusiasm. The racing circuit itself though has some major flaws and the racing was quite average up until the safety car. I think they can improve this. Listen to the comments of the drivers.

    Miami is not dropping off the calendar anytime soon and next year we have the even more delightful prospect of three races in the U.S.! No country should ever host more than two in a season. Why should other countries/circuits potentially have to sacrifice a race, or an annual race so that the U.S. can have three.

    1. greasemonkey
      9th May 2022, 14:51

      On a per capita basis, if Italy has 2 races, then China should get 46 races. (and the USA, 11 races)

      People on the USA West Coast are further from a single race than most people in Europe are from 10 races.

      Granted, the USA does have IndyCar though, hence China in my first example. IndyCar is actually really good wrt actual racing, so the USA doesn’t really warrant a per capita matching for F1. But N-per-country policy doesn’t make sense either.

  9. PR stunt for sure…i understand that the stakeholders need to tow a certain line and immerse a new venture into negativity but that doesn’t mean you can lie.
    Calling it great stuff for racing and entertainment is just prevarication.
    And this is where i would agree more with Horner; looking at the positive reactions from fans and drivers alike, i think the event , as a whole, was good.

    1. and not immerse*

  10. Whahaha Toto being typical with his PR talk. No surprise.

  11. If the same thing had happened, say, in Spain, they’d call it “unacceptable”.

    Not to mention drivers complained about lack of safety, two of them said they weren’t 100% after heavy crashes. That can’t be 9/10.

    1. Agree, haven’t commented yet in the rate the race article, but certainly boring until the SC.

  12. Another borefest

  13. Toto must calm down. We can not take him serious when he is exaggerating like this.

    But I also have to say, that the race was not as bad as I had anticipated. Especially for spectators in T12 there was more action than I thought there would be because there were no highway passes and the fighting for position continued through that turn. Also into T1 we saw some attempts with different outcome.

  14. SHR Modding
    9th May 2022, 15:45

    What if it was his actual opinion?

Comments are closed.