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Usain Bolt to start US Grand Prix

NEWS STORY
17/10/2017

As it looks ahead to its first home Grand Prix since buying the sport, Liberty Media is determined to see F1 make it across the sports pages of the world's press if not to the front pages.

Having brought in boxing announcer Michael Buffer, who will introduce each of the 20 drivers before Sunday's race at Austin, shortly afterwards Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt will get to start the race that could decide this year's world championship.

Bolt, who has held the world 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 x 100 metre relay records, will get to stand alongside official race starter Charlie Whiting on Sunday afternoon and press that big red button that gets proceedings underway.

Shortly before the race, Lewis Hamilton will chauffer Bolt around the track possibly in one of the F1 Experience two-seaters run by former Minardi boss Paul Stoddart.

"We continue to layer in new elements at each Grand Prix and this innovative driver presentation format seemingly was an appropriate addition for Austin,' said commercial boss Sean Bratches following the recruitment of Buffer. "The USA is, without a doubt, the country where sports events are seen as entertainment that goes above and beyond the purely sporting contest.

"We want to do something that positions Formula One Grand Prix as breaking the boundaries, between sport and a show, thus becoming a unique event that, minute by minute is an unforgettable experience."

Such is the desire to turn the sport into entertainment, the previous day sees qualifying moved back by two hours so that the session ends just before Justin Timberlake's gig kicks off.

Last year, organisers at the Circuit of the Americas secured pop star Taylor Swift who performed her only live concert of the year on the Saturday evening.

However, after qualifying many of the race fans left the venue while fans of the singer took their place, this year organisers are hoping to see race fans remain for the concert and mingle with fans of Timberlake and the other acts.

All of which means a four-hour long gap between the end of FP3 and Q1, which if nothing else takes the strain of those teams that often end up having to rebuild their cars during the two sessions.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by The stogie, 19/10/2017 20:48

"One would naturally assume that they couldn't find a suitable AMERICAN for the honours? Wow. I guess the Mario Andrettis, the Marco Andrettis, the Eddie Cheever and the Dan Gurneys were busy? "

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2. Posted by Chris Roper, 19/10/2017 13:42

"My first thought was will he have to run the whole Lap or just across the start finish line, either way it is still better than a Safety Car start.
"

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3. Posted by Tombstone, 18/10/2017 21:14

"wondered, not "windered"! and who, not ho! Blimey, I haven't had THAT much to drink."

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4. Posted by Tombstone, 18/10/2017 21:12

"When I first read the headline I windered ho on earth Baron Samedi was going to fit in a F1 car. And how did he get a super licence."

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5. Posted by mickl, 18/10/2017 13:09

"@Chris Roper. It's the US....it'll be a pole dance or at best a C&W line dance as it's in Texas."

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6. Posted by Chris Roper, 17/10/2017 21:23

"Will the Grid Girls be doing the CanCan or is that reserved for the French GP ?
"

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7. Posted by Daydah, 17/10/2017 16:49

"How long before the Dog and Pony Show takes over completely and F! is just a side event?"

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8. Posted by mickl, 17/10/2017 16:05

"I'd love to see the Venn diagrams that Liberty has drawn up on a dry marker board at their meetings."

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