F1 has been criticised by the drivers for its latest attempt to ramp up the entertainment factor they felt proved a distraction to their pre-Miami GP preparations.
Since the sport was taken over by Liberty Media, the commercial rights holder has steadily found ways to breathe new life into what was once a staid, stuck-in-its-ways structure under former supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
For the second race in Miami, however, and in a bid to add typical American saccharine sweetness to the event, all 20 drivers were formally presented to a raucous crowd by rapper LL Cool J, emerging onto a makeshift stage on the grid through plumes of dry ice whilst a parade of women jiggled pom poms.
It all took place just 20 to 25 minutes prior to the race start, and clearly irked the majority involved, not least the top four of Max Verstappen, Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso, and Mercedes driver George Russell.
Verstappen at least ensured he was prepared by speaking to his engineers prior to the pageantry, but was far from enamoured with what transpired.
“Personally, and this is just a bit of a personality thing – some people like to be more in the spotlight, some people don't, and I personally don't – so for me, what they (F1) did is not necessary,” said Verstappen.
“I prefer to just talk to my engineers, walk to my car, put the helmet on, and drive.
“Of course, I understand the entertainment value. So I just hope, we don't have that every single time because we have a very long season, so we don't need an entry like that every time.
“It also depends a bit on the crowd, in terms of what you want in terms of entertainment. It's just a personal preference as well from the drivers. For me, personally not.”
US fans no more special than anywhere else – Alonso
Perez, who finished second behind Verstappen despite starting from pole compared to the Dutch driver's ninth, was in agreement.
“As long as we don't do it on too many occasions,” said Perez. “It's nice to do it once for the crowd, but we also have to be very respectful of the drivers, that we need our own time to get ready.
“It's just minutes before the race start and as long as this doesn't happen very often, it's okay.”
Third-placed Alonso was at a loss to understand why fans in Miami should be treated differently to those elsewhere, and if the show does take place again, then there should be a compromise when it comes to the drivers' time.
The two-time F1 champion said: “I understand the point of view of everybody but I'm not a big fan of these kinds of things just before the race.
“If we have to do it, we need to remove some of the other stuff we are doing, like the parade lap or something like that, because it's really in the middle of the preparation with the engineers and the strategy meeting.
“I disagree a little bit if we have to do it everywhere because I don't think the Miami fans are better than the Italian fans, or those in Spain, Mexico, or Japan.
“We need to make everyone with the same rules and the same show before the race.”
Russell ‘mixed feelings on additional show'
Russell was equally as condemnatory, with the Briton appreciating on one side the need for entertainment but dismissive of the fact it impacted on his pre-race routine.
“We spoke about it as drivers on Friday night (in the regular pre-race briefing),” revealed Russell.
“Everybody's got different personalities, but I guess it's the American way of doing things, of doing sport. Personally, probably not for me, but that's just my personal opinion.
“I'm here to drive, to win, I'm not here for the show, but I guess we have to roll with it.
“It is distracting because we were on the grid for half an hour in all of our overall in the sun.
“I don't think there are any other sports in the world where 30 minutes before you go out to do your business, you're out there in the sun, all the cameras are on you and making a bit of a show of it.
“I can appreciate that in the entertainment world, but we only want the best for the sport.
“We're open to changes but I guess we wouldn't want to see it every weekend. I don't think it will be every weekend. I think it'll be the big races.
“The thing I love every single race is the national anthem that sort of pumps you up, and it's sort of respectful to the country where we're racing but you have mixed feelings on the additional show.”