2022 AM Wings_Mono Negative

F1's spell on Magic City

Miami resident and I / AM member Erica Soto explains her love for Formula One and how the sport brings even more energy and excitement to one of the most vibrant cities in the world.

Aston Martin F1

The speed shocks you.

Miami 2022. That was the first Formula One Grand Prix I ever attended.

Even before getting to the track, I had goosebumps. Walking from the shuttle area, as you get closer, you can hear the cars firing up and being prepared. It's an indescribable feeling.

I was with my mum, some friends and their parents. For all of us, it was our first Grand Prix. Hearing and seeing the cars up close was incredible.

My first experience of F1 in person, in the city where I was born and raised. It really doesn't get any better than that.

I was curious.

My love for F1 began 10 years ago, when I read a book about the series. I grew up watching different sports but F1 was one that I wasn't too familiar with. I was curious about what it was all about though, and things snowballed from there.

Of my friends and family, I was the first to really engage with F1. My parents didn't really follow it, and although other members of my family have been to races in the past, they've never really been into the sport either.

It was the same story among my friends. Not so long ago, only one or two of them had an interest in F1, but since Miami has hosted a race, it has brought the sport into people's psyche a lot more here in the city.

Now, I have friends who ask me what's going on, why certain things are happening, and expressing an interest where they hadn't before.

Things have really grown. I've made friends in different cities because of F1, and the US has definitely caught the bug. Thanks to a combination of the race in Miami and the success of things like Drive to Survive on Netflix, some of my friends and I have been able to create a little community.

We'll arrange watch parties, talk about the sport, and a lot of us now follow it avidly – it's a story replicated across the country.

This weekend, though, it's about Miami.

Aston Martin F1

Our Grand Prix in our city.

When it was announced F1 was coming to Miami there was huge excitement, but also surprise it was to be held around the Hard Rock Stadium. We were all wondering how it was going to work but, having attended both races so far, I think it's the perfect location.

It might not be in central Miami, but it creates its own buzz around where it is, and the area around the race really reflects the city perfectly. From the acts performing during the race weekend to the fan events and even what people wear at the track, it all feels very Miami when you're at the circuit, and now the rest of the city is picking up on the vibe.

Since the first race in '22, the event has just grown and grown. It's gone beyond the confines of the circuit. Year after year it feels like more and more of the city is getting involved and embracing F1. It's been great to see ahead of this weekend's race.

Over the last month, F1 has started to take over Miami as the city has geared up to host one of the fastest shows on Earth. Signs have been going up, various events have been set up, and now, wherever you are in the city this weekend, you'll get to experience the atmosphere.

There are fan pop-ups at the beach and downtown, and activities like pitstop challenges and simulators that will run the entire week. It's almost impossible to not feel part of the weekend; outdoor bars and restaurants set up dedicated areas for fans to enjoy the action together. If you don't have a ticket to the Grand Prix, you can watch the race at places like this and countless others.

Even if you're not at the circuit, you can still immerse yourself in the vibe and what's going on at the track because the energy flows through the city. You feel connected.


My colour is green.

I'm an Aston Martin Aramco fan and I can't wait to be in the grandstand, cheering the team on.

I'm lucky enough to say I'll be trackside all three days this weekend. I have friends flying to Miami to join me for the race, and people will be arriving from all over to see F1 in the Sunshine State.

I started following the team when Fernando joined. Like many Miami residents, my family and I have a strong Spanish heritage; Fernando has a huge following in the city.

There's a lot of support for Lance and the team too – it's an iconic brand, with a lot of history, but it's doing F1 differently by bringing fans closer to the sport through I / AM. I'm excited to see what it's got lined up for Miami this year; in '23 the team brought F1 to the streets of the city with driver squad meet-and-greets, show cars, bike rides and more.

It's things like this that have made Aston Martin Aramco the F1 team to follow in Miami for so many of us, alongside some of our iconic local sports teams.

Erica AMF1 in Miami

It's the missing piece.

Up until 2022, the Miami Grand Prix was the missing piece of the sporting jigsaw in the city.

Having grown up here, like most Miami residents, I root for the Miami Dolphins, the Miami Marlins, and the Miami Heat in their respective sports.

There's a huge sporting culture here so when a new one rolls into town, there's natural interest in it.

Some of my friends who are into football or basketball ask questions about F1 now that they never would have done before. The sport has gripped so many people here in the last couple of years.

F1 has quickly established itself in the Miami sports scene. It's part of the fabric of this city.

And this weekend, we can't wait for more.

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