This was the first year that Miami has ever hosted a Formula 1 race. While it was a great event that successfully brought together fans, celebrities, and various cultures, it is clear they still have their work cut out for them to take this event to the next level in the upcoming years. Hosting a Formula 1 race takes a massive amount of organization and structure, to have everything come together seamlessly. My main focus today however, is on the fan experience. As an F1 super fan from a diverse background, who has been to several races over the last few years, seeing a person of color on the circuit was like seeing a unicorn. Then there was Miami.
Before heading to Miami, we had the pleasure of speaking with the Senior Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs for the Miami Dolphins and the F1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix, Jason Jenkins! We got to hear first hand, about all the good solid work Jason and his amazing team are doing. They have been working and collaborating with the SEEKinc Foundation (Instagram @seekinc) and F1 in schools. This program empowers communities to give the youth access to build products and learn skills through the STEM educational programs. SEEKinc is working to build future techs and engineers in our youth communities.The Miami GP was intentional about involving and giving back to the community by inviting local black-owned businesses to be part of this event!
As we know, these races attract big A list celebrities, however there was a great representation of celebrities of color. Among them were: Michael Jordan, Lebron James, DJ Khaled, Venus & Serena Williams, Rich Paul, Pharrell, Winnie Harlow, Will.i.am, Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union, Willy T. Ribbs, Bad Bunny, Maluma, and June Ambrose, the list goes on.....
We even had the former first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama in the house! It was wonderful to see such great support of the diverse community, made my soul dance to see it all! There were numerous other celebrities at this event as well, but it was especially great to see how diverse the attending celebrities were.
It was not the typical group that would normally be at an F1 related event, and it made it a more inclusive and better event for everybody. Gratifyingly mind-blowing is that, on the morning of the race, Hawaiian born Miami Dolphins quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, tweeted that he would be waving the checkered flag at the Miami GP. Following that, the whole state of Hawaii tuned in along with millions of others across the world as this race averaged 2.784 million viewers, the largest viewership of a racing sport in all North America, EVER. Though on the surface, this looks like a huge success, I need to point out that, for an international sport in a globally diverse City like Miami, F1 presented well on camera, but behind the scenes, diversity is still sorely lacking. In particular there is still a lack of diversity within the racing teams, F1 media as well as the paddock. We still have a lot of work to do yet, but Miami GP is testament that we are in fact ,moving in the right direction. In conclusion, belonging is fundamentally human, and Miami did it right!