As recently as 10 years ago, Formula 1 (F1) racing was not enjoyable. Instead it was a complicated mess of a motorsport, with its complex sporting and technical rules, an insular focus on a European audience, dwindling interest from manufacturers, and infighting between existing manufacturers.
Fast forward to 2017, and Liberty Media, an American conglomerate media company, bought F1’s commercial rights. The move brought the sport kicking and screaming into the social media age. The buy gave F1 a much-needed image refresh. The company worked with the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the sport’s governing body, to simplify the rules, cut costs, and make the sport more accessible to fans. They worked on growing the worldwide audience by expanding the non-European calendar, including holding races in the United States.
Crucially, Liberty Media introduced Formula 1 to the world through its dramatized documentary Drive to Survive on Netflix, which was a game changer. For many years in the U.S., F1 was only for die-hard fans, but as of 2023, America has three races of its own, with two others close by in Mexico and Canada, where fans can enjoy the spectacle live.
Miami Grand Prix
The Miami Grand Prix, to be held May 3-5, 2024, is a recent addition to the F1 calendar. It was introduced in 2022 and will take place around the Hard Rock Stadium, home of the NFL's Miami Dolphins.
Unusually for Formula 1, where most races take place on permanent race tracks or street circuits, the Miami track is a hybrid, taking place on public roads and a specially built racetrack.
The first two editions of the race were won by reigning champion Max Verstappen.
As an existing event location, the stadium and city already have accommodations, restaurants, and activities to support the main event. The JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort and Spa, Mandarin Oriental Miami, and The Setai, Miami Beach, are all highly recommended hotels.
Ivan Bauza, Executive Director of Sales and Marketing, from The Setai, Miami Beach, says, “Each year, we eagerly await the Formula 1 Grand Prix, a weekend that truly showcases the brilliance of Miami. The city comes to life with its elevated gastronomy scene, bringing the best in fine dining and the highest class of sporting event together, to celebrate the thrilling race from the beaches to the Autodrome all across Miami. We welcome many returning guests during this weekend who are avid fans of the sport as well as several brands who host their prestigious clientele during the race festivities.”
Canadian Grand Prix
The Canadian Grand Prix, to be held June 7-9, 2024, has been racing since 1961, and has been at its current home at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, since 1978.
The track is a permanent street circuit on Notre Dame Island in the Saint Lawrence River and is a “power” track, where drivers spend a considerable amount of time at full throttle. Indeed, the Canadian circuit is relatively short, with long, fast straightaways punctuated by chicanes and hairpin turns. The famous Wall of Champions on the home straightaway separates the boys from the men.
Max Verstappen also won the last two editions of this race.
Circuit of the Americas
The Circuit of the Americas, to be held October 18-20, 2024 in Austin, Texas, is an interesting race. It came to F1 in 2012, before Liberty Media bought into the sport and made it uber-popular in the U.S. This plan was ambitious, not least because F1's last foray into America before Austin was the uninspiring Indianapolis Speedway, which held its last race in 2007.
The Austin event has enjoyed some success in that it has always had relatively good attendance, and the track throws up a lot of thrills with its mix of straightaways and fast and slow corners.
The trackside entertainment is also excellent, with 2023's event hosting DJ Tiesto, the Killers, and Queen + Adam Lambert.
While the track is outside the city, it is close to the airport. It’is well connected to downtown Austin, with the noteworthy La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Austin Capitol being a solid mid-priced option and the more luxurious Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol has a superb location.
Max Verstappen won the last two races to be held here, as well.
Mexican Grand Prix
The Mexican Grand Prix, to be held October 25-27, 2024, made a long-awaited return to the F1 calendar in 2015 with the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, following a decades-long hiatus after stints on the calendar in the 1960s and 1980s. The armies of Sergio Perez fans came out to support their home driver and make their presence felt, with the circuit's 110,000 capacity often being sold out.
Also known as a power track, the circuit has a long straightaway, and some twisty infield sections, with a massive grandstand built over one of the twisted sections of track, making it unique.
Mexico City is one of North America's largest cities, with many activities. The largest luxury hotel brands are all well represented, with the Four Seasons, St Regis, and JW Marriott all having locations in the city.
Unsurprisingly, Max Verstappen has also won the last two editions of this race.
Las Vegas Grand Prix
F1 returns to Sin City on November 18, 2023. That’s the first time since 1982. The Las Vegas Grand Prix will be held on a street circuit around the city. It’s a testament to how much popularity F1 racing has regained in the U.S., that in the home of gambling and entertainment, one can also see a great motorsport event live.
“The inaugural Formula 1 Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix is going to be one of the biggest and most electrifying events of the year,” says Emily Prazer, Chief Commercial Officer of Las Vegas Grand Prix, Inc. “Having the best drivers and the fastest cars in the world race down the iconic Las Vegas Strip will be an unforgettable moment for fans around the world. We are excited to commit to Las Vegas long term, as the valley is becoming not only the place to be for entertainment, but also a top sports destination.”
Steve Hill, President and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, agrees. “From the unparalleled entertainment lineup, the convenience and accessibility of the fan zones, and the race being held at night against the neon lights on one of the most iconic boulevards in the world, Las Vegas offers Formula 1 fans an experience that can only be found here.” He continued, “The walkability of the Las Vegas Grand Prix will allow fans the ability to move throughout the resort corridor and experience everything Las Vegas has to offer without missing anything that's happening on the track.”
The circuit tours some of Las Vegas's best hotels and casinos, with a blast down the Las Vegas Strip. The track features several straightaways with medium-speed corners and, as is common with street circuits, has high downforce to cope with the uneven street surfaces, which should make the race an exciting one.
Aside from the large lineup of stars to celebrate the events, some may be able to see the race unfold from their rooms at the well-appointed hotels.
“The F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix will truly be one of the top highlights of the year,” says Shannon McCallum, Vice President of Hotel Operations for Resorts World Las Vegas, which owns the Conrad Las Vegas hotel. “We'll have an array of offerings and experiences curated for the inaugural race week, including headline entertainment, one-of-a-kind pop-up activations, and more. Resorts World Las Vegas is the place to be, and we're the perfect place to stay for those who are expecting a luxury experience and staying in either our Hilton, Conrad or Crockfords tower.”
Las Vegas marks the penultimate race for 2023 and is still yet to occur. It's guaranteed to offer a taste of what’s to come for the 2024 season.