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Formula Racing

Sergio “Checo” Perez is in a “Race to Miami”

In the whimsical Race to Miami, Oracle Red Bull Racing drives from New York to Florida to take the first laps on the brand new Miami Grand Prix track
By Alan Smithee
3 min readPublished on
Oracle Red Bull Racing gets the first laps on the Miami GP track
Oracle Red Bull Racing gets the first laps on the Miami GP track
The 2022 Formula One season is underway, and the excitement continues to grow around a brand new race on the schedule, the Miami Grand Prix (May 6-8). In “Race to Miami,” Oracle Red Bull Racing Driver Sergio “Checo” Perez’s own excitement about the race (along with a little Manhattan street noise) causes a miscommunication between him and Team Principal and CEO Christian Horner, sending Checo on a mission to rush from New York to Miami the same day.
Red Bull Racing's RB7 Drives in NYC
Red Bull Racing's RB7 Drives in NYC
When Christian Horner checks in with Checo, he finds the Mexican driver wide awake in his hotel room in New York. As they discuss the upcoming new Miami GP, and the opportunity to take some track laps there in May, the noisy ambience of the Manhattan streets obscures the conversation. When Horner says “in May,” Checo hears “today.” And thus begins Checo’s race to Miami.
Calling out for the Oracle Red Bull Racing pit crew to “Assemble!” Checo is suddenly in his race suit, out of the hotel room and onto the shadowy city streets in a flash. The ever-ready pit crew meet him on Wall Street with the F1 car prepped and ready for action. One problem – it’s still dark out. Suddenly the ground is lit up by a searchlight, beaming down from a helicopter piloted by a trusty pit crew member. Problem solved.
Race to Miami begins on Wall Street
Race to Miami begins on Wall Street
Checo tears through the city streets, the searchlight - and eventually the rising sun - illuminating his way. As he navigates his way out of the metropolis, he takes the FDR, passes though Chinatown (with an obligatory road trip pitstop for a Red Bull) drives down 5th avenue (this time with an actual F1 pitstop) and is quickly on the Manhattan bridge and headed out of town. Christian becomes aware of Checo’s travels via social media and attempts to contact him, but to no avail – Checo has left his cell phone in the hotel room.
The RB7 on 5th Avenue in New York
The RB7 on 5th Avenue in New York
Next stop the Florida Everglades, where Checo races thought the swampland, getting a bit lost in the process and running afoul of a grumpy local – an 11-foot-long alligator. But friendlier Florida local (and professional wakeboarder/barefoot water-skier) Parks Bonifay comes to the rescue, offering Checo directions to Miami. But it’s tough to show him the way in a single seat vehicle…cue the surf music. For perhaps the first time ever an F1 car serves as the tow vehicle for a water-skier. Only in Florida.
The Florida Everglades
The Florida Everglades
Parks Bonifay barefoot water skis behind the Oracle Red Bull Racing RB7
Parks Bonifay barefoot water skis behind the Oracle Red Bull Racing RB7
Now pointed in the right direction, Checo arrives in Miami and its famous Calle Ocho in Little Havana, where the pit crew take a break from running the dominos tables to give the car a quick wash. With a few more directions coming from Miami Dolphins player Byron Jones, Checo breezes down the famous MacArthur Causeway, whizzing by docked cruise ships in the process. And finally, he arrives at the Miami International Motordrome, home of the Miami GP. Which is still under construction. And closed.
Undeterred, Checo calls on the pit crew, who once again save the day, opening the gates and allowing the car to take the first laps around the brand new track. The car’s speed and sound stun professional tennis player Reilly Opelka and skateboarders Jamie Foy and Zion Wright. But Christian has finally tracked Checo down, and calls him into Hard Rock Stadium, where they converse, via the jumboton on the Miami Dolphins field. The misunderstanding is cleared up and Checo is left to find his way home. But all things considered, it was quite the trip.
The RB7 heads home
The RB7 heads home