Tom Garfinkel has laughed off the online comments regarding the Miami International Autodrome's new fake marina.
At first glance, the newly-built Grand Prix track that hosts the inaugural Miami Grand Prix this weekend appears to have a marina full of yachts – a normal sight at most Grands Prix located near the sea.
However, the new circuit isn't actually anywhere near the sea, and the marina is completely landlocked.
Even more unusually, the marina doesn't have any water in it. Instead, the moored boats and yachts are actually parked up on trailers, with a fake layer of painted plywood suggesting the boats are in the water.
The marina has led to plenty of jokes on social media, with commenters pouring scorn on the idea. F1 personnel have taken pictures of themselves 'walking on water', adding more fuel to the fun.
But Garfinkel is pleased that people are talking about the marina, saying the intent of the event was never to take itself too seriously.
Garfinkel aimed for "fun" with the idea
The Managing Partner of the Grand Prix, who is also CEO of the Hard Rock Stadium and the Miami Dolphins, spoke to media on Wednesday as the weekend was officially launched.
"We don't take ourselves too seriously. We know that we're having some fun with it, right?" he told media, including RacingNews365.com, on Thursday.
He explained why the decision was taken to have a fake marina, revealing that it was a promise he made during the planning stages that he wished to honour.
"What we did was, initially, when we were looking at downtown,
Formula 1 had some ideas about wanting the blimp shots of the yachts
downtown," he said.
"We moved here for a number of reasons, most importantly because we didn't think we could have a good racing circuit downtown.
"I told F1, 'You're gonna get your yacht shots, and you're gonna have your yachts', and they looked at me like I was crazy.
I came back and drew it on the whiteboard and said, 'I want a Marina
with yachts here and we're gonna make it happen', and so we did!"
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Garfinkel wants "great racing" and a "great time"
Garfinkel went on to explain that he's enjoying the fact his marina idea has met with hilarity and a raft of internet memes poking fun at the plywood-based body of 'water'.
"It's a lot of fun. I think people are enjoying it," he said.
"I think the people on the back of those yachts watching the race will have fun. The people are sort of poking fun at it. I think it's funny and it's great. We're not taking ourselves too seriously. We're trying to have some fun with it.
"I didn't know if that would be the thing, or the beach would be the thing with actual sand, or the podium itself!
"As long as people say we created a great race circuit for great racing first, and then people come here and have a great time.
"The rest of it, we can have some fun with!"
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