Behind the scenes with Formula 1’s most popular team

May 6, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Formula 1 drivers race into turn 8 the MIA Marina through the circuit during the third practice session for the Miami Grand Prix at Miami International Autodrome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – In a week full of 10-minute meetings, perhaps it was only fitting Zak Brown got 10 minutes of calm before his race team’s weekend unraveled Sunday afternoon. Thirty-five laps into Formula 1’s Miami Grand Prix, Brown walked into his team’s hospitality room on pitlane and found a seat at a square table. Eyes glued to the two TVs on the opposite wall, he muttered very little to those around him – a mixture of coworkers wearing matching papaya-colored polos and VIPs in their high-priced beach-themed best.

As the Sky Sports race broadcast pointed out McLaren driver Lando Norris was down six spots — more than any other driver in the race — Brown’s expression was unchanged. Had you been solely focused on Brown, all that would’ve hinted at disaster on Lap 41, when Norris ran into a sputtering Pierre Gasly, sending his McLaren spinning across the track like a top, was the CEO’s head slumping into his left hand.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown (center-right) sits and watches his team in the Miami Grand Prix inside McLaren hospitality.

Had this been McLaren’s featured week on Netflix’s ‘Drive to Survive’, perhaps Brown would’ve been out baking in the south Florida heat in the team’s pit box, there for cameras to catch sighs of exasperation and frustration.

But with such riveting battles in the constructors’ race, as well as the drivers’ title, Brown was able to take in what he predicted Saturday would be a down weekend for ‘America’s Formula 1 team’ in relative peace.