Legendary performance-boat builder Cigarette Racing Team is working with the city of Miami and Formula 1 racing officials to bring an auto race to South Florida in 2020.
“When the Formula 1 organization thought of Miami and boats, they said there was only one company to go to, and that was Cigarette,” said Skip Braver, president and CEO of Cigarette Racing Team, , which is based in Opa Locka, Fla.
Cigarette has had a cross-promotional relationship with AMG Mercedes, including one-off AMG-inspired boats that the company usually unveils at the Miami International Boat Show. Formula 1 officials were at last February’s show in the AMG 515 Project One boat, and the two parties began talking about Cigarette getting more involved with bringing an F1 race to Miami.
Mercedes also has a team competing in F1.
Braver said the planning has been going on for around 18 months.
MiamiCurbed.com reported that the original plans for the Formula 1 race have been pushed back by at least a year. The website said that the decision to delay was based on a move by Miami City Commissioners to hold off discussions of the 10-year race deal and draft a resolution seeking state funding from Florida Governor Rick Scott.
Sean Bratches, F1 commercial manager, issued a statement saying the company had preferred to run the event in 2019. “However, we are taking a long-term view and in consultation with the Miami authorities, we have decided to postpone sign-off until later in the summer, with the aim of running the first Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix in the 2020 season,” he said in the statement.
This past weekend, Formula 1 held its final Fan Festival of the year in Miami. The event featured a simulcast of the U.S. Grand Prix, which was held simultaneously in Austin, Texas. Cigarette Racing Team had a boat on display and a booth during the weekend-long event held in Bay Front Park.
“Our brand is still the brand people think of when they think of Miami,” Braver said.
Additionally, a Cigarette was featured in a Red Bull video that promoted Formula One racing in the city.