Donald Trump’s Formula 1 Visit Stains Lando Norris’ Miami Grand Prix Win

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Donald Trump’s Formula 1 Visit Stains Lando Norris’ Miami Grand Prix Win


The unexpected visit of former U.S. President Donald Trump to the McLaren garage this weekend was a disgraceful stain on Lando Norris’ maiden Formula 1 win.

For years, Formula 1 has had an identity problem. From its historical ties with big tobacco brands since the late 1960s to the perception of it being a male-dominated organisation, Liberty Media has been working tirelessly to drag Formula 1 into the 21st Century since taking the keys from the old guard in 2017.

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To their credit, the sport has been revitalised by a revolutionary approach to broadcasting and coverage, introducing an entirely new generation of fans to F1 through the popular Netflix docuseries, Drive to Survive, and world-class social media coverage.

Elsewhere, Liberty Media have encouraged more female support and participation in the sport, introducing more female drivers to the F1 academies and launching a Drive to Survive style docuseries to highlight their path to the top seats in the sport. In late 2022, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali claimed that 40% of global F1 fans were female, representing an 8% jump from 2017 since LM took over.

But the sighting of a polarising figure such as Trump, who from 2017 to 2021, was accused of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment, is a huge step backwards and has marred what has been a huge weekend for McLaren and its young British driver.

Image: Getty

Of course, the Formula 1 track is the place to be seen in the world of sport. And for a location that has become synonymous with the modern glitz and glamour of American celebrity, it’s not uncommon to see the likes of LeBron James, David Beckham and Kendall Jenner walking the Miami circuit during the F1 season.

But the visit of former U.S. President Donald Trump was met with an expected backlash this weekend and overshadowed what was supposed to be a historic maiden win for McLaren’s British driver Lando Norris. Trump reportedly referred to himself as Norris’ “lucky charm” during his visit.

Naturally, the McLaren team have said that whilst an invitation was not personally extended to Donald Trump, his team had reached out and requested a visit to the British team’s garage on race day – and they were honoured to accept it.

McClaren has been forced to respond after facing backlash from F1 fans wondering why Trump was invited to the track, saying: “McLaren is a non-political organisation however we recognise and respect the office of President of the United States so when the request was made to visit our garage on race day we accepted alongside the president of the FIA and the CEO’s of Liberty Media and Formula 1.”

“We were honoured that McLaren Racing was chosen as the representative of F1 which gave us the opportunity to showcase the world-class engineering that we bring to motorsport.”

Would Lewis Hamilton have accepted such a request from Trump’s team? Absolutely not. The fact that the former U.S. president was anywhere near the Miami garage on race day is embarrassing and has stained Lando Norris’ maiden Formula 1 win.