Why Miami can laugh at the ridicule

(Motorsport-Total.com) – If you look on social media for news about the Formula 1 debut in Miami, you will find one topic in particular: the artificial marina, about which there are many jokes, discussions and even memes.

Miami is having fun with the internet with an artificial marina


Ten yachts are parked inside between turns 6, 7 and 8 of the new Miami International Autodrome surrounded by man-made “water”, which has already created a series of edited photos and videos.

A well-edited video on Twitter went viral and has more than three million views. In this, it appears that a man is jumping into the water, only to jump off the hard surface instead of a piece of ice.

Opinions about the new marina are very different. Some appreciate the unique because the route tries to offer something new. The others mock the extravagant madness because the ticket prices are similarly high, so a visit to the Grand Prix costs a lot of money.

Miami CEO: “We’re having fun with this, aren’t we?”

But for the Miami Grand Prix’s managing partner Tom Garfinkel, who is also vice president and CEO of the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium, fans mocking what the circuit has done at the marina is no problem.

He likes it because it makes everyone talk about the Miami race. In addition, he sees no disadvantage if the race is laughed at a bit, and it offers something unique. “I think we should not take ourselves too seriously,” he told Motorsport-Total.com. “We’m having fun with that, right?”

“I think people have fun. I think people are going to have fun on the yachts that watch the race, and I also think it’s fun and great when people have a little fun with it, ” he said. “We do not take ourselves too seriously. We try to have a little fun with it.”

That’s how the idea came about

According to Garfinkel, the idea for the artificial marina arose because Formula 1 originally wanted a different location for the race in Miami, where they would have driven along the right harbor. “When we saw the race in the center, Formula 1 initially had some ideas for the images of yachts,” he says.

F1: Miami Grand Prix (USA) 2022

“And when we moved here for a number of reasons, mainly because we did not think we could have a good circuit in the center, I told Formula 1 that you will get your yacht shots: you get your have yachts,” says Garfinkel .

“They looked at me like I was crazy. And then I came back and drew it on the board and said, ‘I want a harbor here with yachts, and we do.’ And so we did. And we did. have a lot of fun with it. “

The obstacles to building the port

It is important to understand that the artificial harbor is not just an irrelevant piece of runway decoration designed to make the runway look better on TV. Instead, it forms the focal point of a boulevard of amusement stalls that form a gathering place for fans.

The marina is adjacent to a multi-storey yacht club with bars and restaurants and is surrounded by an artificial beach with sun loungers, games and seating.

So while about 400 guests will be lucky enough to spend the racing weekend on the yachts themselves, the entire area will be surrounded by thousands of partying guests enjoying the sunshine and the offerings.

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Getting the port up and running in the first place was not easy for Miami, as it took about ten months to procure yachts and transport them to the route. The boats could only be transported at night, and a special surface had to be laid over the route so that the asphalt was not damaged.

It took about five hours to get the largest yacht from the harbor to its place on the route.

It may sound like a huge effort, but it fits the Miami vibe that doesn’t do things halfway.

Good racetrack has priority

But apart from everything else, Garfinkel is dead serious about one thing. Something like the marina or Hard Rock Beach Club with “real” sand at the other end of the circuit would never be justified if they were on a track that did not have the potential for great racing.

Therefore, he thinks it is right that Miami should add something special to the track, which has been highly praised by the drivers and seems to offer a good spectacle. And when you look at the fact that the tickets sold out quickly despite the enormously high prices, it seems to have been worth it.

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“First and foremost, we wanted to create a great racetrack,” Garfinkel said. “We really believe that a track where the drivers love to drive and the teams love to race is also great for the fans, so that was the top priority.”

“Then we thought, ‘Why don’t we make it to Miami? Why don’t we bring some of the Miami culture over here so fans can experience something amazing? If we have a decent track, we can focus on other things to make it happen. to happen great. That’s what we wanted to achieve. “

Asked if he thought there would be such a commotion around the harbor, Garfinkel denies it: “I did not know if it would be the case, or the Beach Club with its real sand, or the podium itself. But until then, people say we built a fantastic track for great races and if they have fun here then I can laugh at the rest. “

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