McLaren boss, Zak Brown, says next week's inaugural Miami Grand Prix already seems like Formula One's Super Bowl, with a massive excitement and celebrities clamouring for the hottest seats in town.
According to the American, his team was the biggest bidder of hospitality for the May 8 race past Hard Rock Stadium, home of the NFL's Miami Dolphins, but demand considerably outstripped supply.
Brown tells Reuters, "It's going to be awesome. I've been here six ears and I've never seen demand or buzz for a grand prix like I've seen for Miami".
Brown adds, "We can easily double our hospitality and we're already the largest hospitality buyer in Miami... it rivals the Super Bowl as far as 'are you going to the Miami race? I've been around F1 for 20 years and I'm used to going to grands prix but I've never seen anything like it."
The race is the fifth of the season and one of two in the United States this year, with the other being the long-running race in Austin, Texas. There will be three in 2023, with Las Vegas being the first.
Over the course of the weekend, McLaren expects 1,000 guests, including A-list celebrities, and will host a McLaren House as well as Paddock Club hospitality and grandstands, according to Brown.
Brown continues, "Having been around the Super Bowl, where there's the football game and then there's the halftime celebs and shows, this feels like the Super Bowl"
The Miami metropolitan region has hosted the Super Bowl 11 times, the most of any city, with six of them taking place at Hard Rock Stadium and the most recent in 2020.
With a total three-day attendance of 400,000, Austin drew the largest F1 audience of the season last year, and Brown claimed the Texas circuit had played a huge part in growing the sport's appeal in a critical region for Formula One.
'Drive to Survive,' a Netflix docu-series credited for bringing in new and younger fans to a championship that had previously battled for television time in a market dominated by American sports, has done the same.
Brown concludes, "Now you've got Vegas the sport's never been healthier and more exciting, If you look at the corporate partners on our car, half of our car are U.S.-based companies. So U.S.-based companies are now actually starting to get behind it. I think we've got a long way to go. The amount of exposure and economics that's going to be brought to Miami... is going to be a far greater contribution to a much larger audience than X number of people that don't want to hear the sound and probably never heard a Formula One car."