Kevin Magnussen believes the Miami Grand Prix is a race weekend that has taken Formula 1 events “to the next level” in terms of coverage and interest.
Miami joined the F1 calendar last year on a 10-year deal, and has since been joined by Las Vegas as the sport increases its footprint in the United States. Both races have placed a big focus on activation and the fan experience, and Magnussen says it’s making a noticeable difference to the weekend’s demands from a driver’s point of view.
“The Miami Grand Prix is one of these new races in the U.S. that kind of feels like a new type of Formula 1 event, where it’s taken to the next level,” Magnussen says. “It’s very unique, it’s very hyped, there’s a lot of new things about it and I also think the track is fun.
“There’s more activities during a U.S. Grand Prix weekend, being the only American team, plus having an American title sponsor. It’s also one of the races where we really want to do well in front of our home crowd, and also in front of many of our sponsor’s home fans as well.
“It’s the closest I get to a home race in a way, because there isn’t a Danish Grand Prix and the closest I get is the team’s home race and I count that as ours. Luckily we have three of those and hopefully we can do well at all three.”
Magnussen’s teammate Nico Hulkenberg didn’t race in Miami last season as he was without a race seat but the German says he got a taste for what to expect
“I will only explore the track on Friday in a Formula 1 car, but I did do hot laps around here in a road car and it seemed fun,” Hulkenberg said. “I’m looking forward to exploring it and learn the track as it’s quite technical and challenging for sure. The event was mega hyped, successful and I’ve never seen such a big paddock and grid like Miami during my time in Formula 1, so that looked pretty entertaining.”
The Haas drivers will be taking on a busy marketing and activation schedule around the race, with team principal Guenther Steiner saying it feels like an established event already given the focus on it for the U.S.-owned team.
“It feels strange as Miami’s only had one year but it feels like it’s been there a long time,” Steiner said. “Everybody’s looking forward to it because everyone did a good job last year. When you look at these events, there’s always room for improvement but I’m very positive as it’s one of those events where it’s great for the teams to come back.
“It was a great event last year and it will be a great event this year. There’s a positive buzz to it because the fans are really waiting for these events to come around.”