Max Verstappen says everyone is excited about racing in Miami for the first time this weekend, and he is expecting a crazy weekend in the state of Florida.
The Miami Grand Prix makes its FIA Formula 1 World Championship calendar debut this weekend at the Miami International Autodrome, and the Oracle Red Bull Racing driver arrives in the first of two races in the United States in 2022 having taken his second victory of the year last time out in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Verstappen, who sits second to Scuderia Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in the Drivers’ Championship heading into this weekend, has done as much preparation for the newest event on the schedule as he can, and he is pleased Formula 1 appears to be getting more popular than ever in the United States.
“I think this weekend is going to be pretty crazy!” said Verstappen. “I’m looking forward to racing in Miami, I’ve driven the track on the simulator and we’ve practiced and prepared as much as we can without visiting the track in real life.
“I love racing in Austin so it’s fun that we get to go to another state and race this year. It’s exciting to see Formula 1 getting much bigger in the US, F1 and the teams are working hard to promote the sport in the US and we’re having more and more races here, so step by step we are making it more popular.
“I also think it helps now the cars are finding it easier to follow and overtake each other and more teams are competing for wins, I think that’s the most important thing for the fans.
“I hope that it’s going to be an exciting weekend, Miami is a really nice city and I think it’s a really interesting location to hold a Grand Prix, I think not only the drivers are excited, but the fans too.”
“I am now fighting for poles and podiums every week” – Sergio Pérez
Team-mate Sergio Pérez is equally excited by the prospect of racing around the Miami streets this weekend, and he is expecting a large contingent of Latin Americans and Mexicans to be in attendance and lend their support to him.
Pérez ended the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix with a second-place finish to give Red Bull a first one-two finish since 2016, and the Mexican is aiming high again this weekend in Miami having impressed during the opening four races of the current campaign.
The two-time race winner says motivation is high within the team, particularly on his side of the garage as he has raised his game in 2022 and has begun to regularly fight for wins, podiums and pole positions.
“I am excited to be heading to Miami this week, it is great that the calendar is expanding more in America, which is a lot closer to home for me and one day I might end up living there!” said Pérez.
“It is a great market for Formula 1 and I am sure there will be a lot of Latin Americans and Mexicans at the race, so hopefully I get a lot of support and it will be a very important race for the Team both on and off the track.
“These busier races are hard to manage but the Team do an incredible job at making sure Max and I can focus on our driving. I found the new circuit fun on the simulator and it can potentially be a good place for racing with those very long straights, I think choosing the right downforce level will be the biggest challenge for all the teams.
“I am now fighting for poles and podiums every week, which is great motivation to keep pushing and keep focus. I just want more week after week, and I am looking forward to seeing what we can do in Miami.”