The pre-race grid procedure will take on a slightly different flavour in Austin as Michael Buffer (who’s especially well known as a boxing announcer) is set to introduce all the drivers ahead of the race, presumably in a similar way to what happens in IndyCar and Nascar
It’s a one-off thing for now, and to make room for it the teams and the FIA have agreed that to change the rules for the race so that drivers and teams are on the grid 15 minutes earlier than usual.
It’s all part of Liberty Media’s plan to bring the sport closer to the fans. F1s commercial boss Sean Bratches said:
“We are delighted to welcome Michael Buffer as part of our ongoing commitment to our fans to build the entertainment factor in Formula 1. We know that the F1 United States Grand Prix is the best place for a globally-recognised star like Michael to take the spectacle to the next level. This is an amazing opportunity, I’ve known Michael for over 30 years and there is no one better: he will elevate the driver brands and shine a light on Formula 1.”
Buffer is also excited to take on the challenge of introducing the drivers, saying:
“I’ve been involved in some of the biggest sporting events around the world and have introduced most of the greatest boxers of the modern era, and now is my time to introduce the world’s finest racing drivers. They are the stars of the show and I want to introduce them with the energy and adrenalin they deserve before they fire up their engines and get ready to race.”
Michael Buffer is especially well known for his “Let’s get ready to rumble!” catchphrase, but although that’s a boxing term, it should still prove especially useful when introducing the two Force India drivers.