Miami Grand Prix Trackside Commentators Fail At Treating Women As People

The men at the track couldn't help but comment on the appearance of the young women and girls of F1 Academy

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Race winner Abbi Pulling of Great Britain and Rodin Motorsport (9), Second placed Doriane Pin of France and PREMA Racing (28) and Third placed Chloe Chambers of United States and Campos Racing (14) celebrate on the podium during race 1 during Round 2 Miami of the F1 Academy at Miami International Autodrome on May 04, 2024 in Miami, Florida
Photo: Clive Mason (Getty Images)

The 2024 Miami Grand Prix may have been the Florida event’s most competent Formula 1 showing yet — aside from the fact that the men in the trackside commentary booth simply couldn’t be normal about the young women competing in F1 Academy. The junior series composed entirely of female talent hosted two races at the Florida track this weekend, but the at-track commentary team really needed us to know that they weren’t being sexist by regularly commenting on the appearances of the drivers.

Disappointing reports about the Miami Grand Prix’s trackside commentary team began emerging on Saturday, at the conclusion of F1A’s first race of the weekend. Alexandra Klasinski, a Microsoft product manager attending the Miami Grand Prix as a fan, took to X to share her frustration. She noticed both that the trackside commentators couldn’t help prefacing their thoughts with, “not to be sexist...” while also instructing the “girls” in the audience to “put their phones down” to watch the racing.


Other social media users took to the internet to report their own experiences, while also noting that Grand Prix organizers also scheduled a Steve Aoki concert in the middle of F1A’s on-track sessions.


The trackside commentary at the Miami Grand Prix was provided by Speed City Broadcasting, which calls itself America’s radio voice of Formula 1 thanks to its Sirius talk show about motorsport. The X account for Speed City Broadcasting shared an image promoting its at-track PA commentary team for the weekend, composed of Jon Massengale, Bob Varsha, and Jonathan Green. It is unclear who made the highly controversial statements or felt deeply compelled to comment on race winner Abbi Pulling’s appearance or her age. It is also important to note that this team has been contracted for at-track commentary in Miami and are not full-time employees of F1 or the Miami Grand Prix.

Jalopnik reached out to Miami Grand Prix organizers for comment and received the following statement from a South Florida Motorsports spokesperson:

The inappropriate commentary during Saturday’s F1 Academy race was brought to our attention and swiftly addressed. The comments made are unacceptable and not reflective of the Miami Grand Prix or its organizers. We were proud to support F1 Academy this weekend and will continue to do so as they work to increase diversity and representation in motorsport.


In keeping with the statement from South Florida Motorsports, Klasinski also noted that Saturday’s commentary was highly inappropriate, though it seemed to have improved for Sunday’s race.

The trackside commentary situation regarding F1 Academy is as deeply disheartening as it is inappropriate. Motorsport has been forced to create a women-only series just to give women drivers a fighting chance to be taken seriously in the open-wheel ladder, but it seems that many men remain incapable of treating that series or those competitors with the sincerity, legitimacy, or respect it would naturally afford to young men in the same position.


In case you somehow need a reminder in this year of our lord 2024: If you cannot phrase a thought about a women without the warning that your words might be sexist, then it’s high time to consider leaving the talking to the professionals who can take motorsport — all motorsport — seriously.