Formula 1: The Miami Grand Prix experience, from the eyes of a fan

This past weekend, I had the unforgettable opportunity to attend the 2024 Miami Grand Prix and sat in a grandstand with a perfect view of turns 11, 12, and 13.
Max Verstappen, Lando Norris, Charles Leclerc, Formula 1
Max Verstappen, Lando Norris, Charles Leclerc, Formula 1 / Anadolu/GettyImages
1 of 3

A three-day pass for the weekend not only gave me the chance to watch all Formula 1 events but also all sessions for the Porsche Carrera Cup and Formula 1 Academy. I will take you through my full experience of this weekend from the moment the gates opened on Friday until the second Lando Norris claimed his first career victory on Sunday.

However, I happened to be very lucky on Thursday evening as well, as I saw a police escort with Yuki Tsunoda pull into the 1 Hotel South Beach just as I was walking by. With a number of teams and drivers staying at that hotel, I managed to get pictures with Yuki Tsunoda, Alex Albon, Carlos Sainz Jr., and James Vowles.


With the only Formula 1 practice session of the weekend beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET, gates would be open to fans at 11:30 a.m. ET. I was out there lined up at 11:00 a.m. ET. As soon as I made it through security, I was amazed by how many amazing views of the track there were.

Additionally, there were several experiences for fans, such as the Red Bull Pit Stop Challenge and the Formula 1 Simulator, which had long lines throughout the weekend. However, I did not get a chance to partake in them.

As soon as the first Formula 1 practice session was underway, everyone’s cameras were pulled out as a line of cars came around turn 11. The sound of each car’s engine and the downshift as they went around turn 12 and accelerated into turn 13 was quite amazing to hear.

Being a massive Mercedes fan, it was very exciting to see both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell out on track in the W15. It gave me a great sense of hope for the weekend, as the duo had genuine pace and both finished in the top seven.

Later on in the afternoon, the Formula 1 Academy had their second practice session of the day; the first was behind closed doors. It was very exciting for me to learn about all of these drivers, given that the series is only in its second season. Doriane Pin was someone I was looking forward to seeing, given that she is a junior driver for Mercedes, and I was rooting for her throughout the weekend.

Shortly thereafter, Formula 1 sprint qualifying took place, and it was so exciting to see all 20 drivers push their cars in an attempt to get the fastest lap time possible. Most of what I expected to see had occurred, as the Red Bulls, Ferraris, McLarens, and Aston Martins were all in the top 10.

However, the biggest surprises were Daniel Ricciardo qualifying in fourth and both Mercedes drivers being knocked out in SQ2