Formula 1

USGP winner Lewis Hamilton was full of praise for the ceremony..

Formula 1 bosses and drivers give positive reaction to US Grand Prix pre-show

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Top Formula One figures have praised the powers-that-be for organising and delivering the pre-race ceremony at the United States Grand Prix on Sunday.

Several famous faces descended upon the Circuit of the Americas track for the annual event, including former US president Bill Clinton.

Not only that, but nine-time Olympic gold medal winner Usain Bolt was filmed being given a flying lap by current Drivers’ Championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

And, to hype up the spectacle even more, F1 moguls brought in boxing ringmaster Michael Buffer to announce each driver on the grid, a move which was seemingly taken in by the fans watching in Austin.

Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner backed the idea, saying that it made sense considering the nature of similar events that are delivered in North America.

"It is America, isn't it?" said Horner. “We have to be prepared to try new things.

"If that engages the American public then why not? It didn't detract from the race, and seemed to get the crowd excited.”

Despite being relatively happy with the idea though, Horner added: "I don't think it would be everybody's cup of tea. I cannot see that working well at Silverstone, for example."

Mercedes duo Hamilton and executive director Toto Wolff also backed the new concept, with the Austrian investor agreeing with his Red Bull counterpart that times in the sport are changing.

F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Practice

"It's easy to criticise new things,” he said. "We have a great show and a great product and we need to try things.

"What they did in Austin was really great and fitted really well.

"There were so many great celebrities at the race, enjoying F1, with Michael Buffer, and the bands and everything. I think it was a success."

Three-time world champion Hamilton was animated in his praise for the ordeal, especially with Buffer being involved.

"It was cool to have Michael Buffer and hear him call your name,” said the 32-year old Brit, who leads Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by 66 points in the Drivers’ Championship with just three races remaining.


"That is the best start to a Grand Prix that I have seen. And if we can bring that more into F1 culture, it will be more exciting.

"It was neat coming out. I was waiting in the hallway and it was getting to be a bit long, because every driver was going out.

"But it was kind of cool coming out with the smoke and everything and I didn't know where I was going.

"There were hot ladies on the walkway, so that was exciting, and there was a mixture of sports excitement, sex appeal there.

"That is what has been missing for a long time really.

"It was like going to a boxing fight before and wondering what it would sound like saying 'Lewis Hamilton'."

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