Mercedes’ Formula 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have delivered mixed emotions following the pre-race celebration at the Miami Grand Prix.
All 20 F1 drivers were introduced individually by rapper LL Cool J in the build up to the race, while fellow artist will.i.am conducted an orchestra.
A number of the drivers criticised the procedure post-race, including George Russell, who labelled it as distracting.
“We spoke about it as drivers on Friday night,” Russell said. “Everybody’s got different personalities. I guess it’s the American way of doing things, doing sport.
“Personally, probably not for me. But you know, that’s just my personal opinion. I’m here to race you know, I’m not here for the show.
“I’m a driver, I’m here to win, and I guess we have to roll with it. It is distracting because, you know, we were on the grid for half an hour in all of our overalls in the sun.
“I don’t think there are any other sports in the world that 30 minutes before you go out to do your business that you’re out there in the sun, all the cameras on you, and making a bit of a show of it.
“Can appreciate that in the entertainment world, but as I said, we only want the best for the sport. We’re open to changes, but I guess we wouldn’t want to see it every weekend.”
But team-mate Hamilton, who recovered from 13th on the starting grid to sixth at the finish line, says he was a fan of the procedure
“I think it’s cool that the sport is continuously growing and evolving and they’re not just doing the same thing they’ve done in the past,” he said.
“They’re trying new things, they’re trying to improve the show always, and I’m in full support of it. Geez, I grew up listening to LL Cool J, and LL Cool J was there. That’s cool.
“You look over, you’ve got will.i.am who’s an incredible artist. You’ve got Serena and Venus [Williams] standing there. I thought it was cool.”