Usain Bolt start US Formula 1 Grand Prix

Usain Bolt start US Formula 1 Grand Prix

Eight-time Olympic Gold-medallist Usain Bolt will give the go-ahead for the drivers to begin their formation laps at the United States Grand Prix this Sunday.

The Jamaican sprinter will give the signal to get the cars underway on their formation lap on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, Bolt will also be driven round the 3.4-mile Circuit of the Americas track in a Mercedes-AMG road car. His chauffeur for the occasion with be three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Bolt retired from competition earlier this year but remains a huge star in the US. His participation is part of a big push by promoters of the race.

As part of the pre-race build-up, drivers will receive individual one-by-one welcomes to the grid. Legendary boxing announcer Michael Buffer, famous for his call to get ‘ready to rumble’, will compere proceedings.

There will be a pre-race show on the grid with Stevie Wonder and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders taking part. And on Saturday, fans will be able to enjoy an evening pop concert by Justin Timberlake.

“The USA is, without a doubt, the country where sports events are seen as entertainment that goes above and beyond the purely sporting contest,” explained Formula 1 commercial director Sean Bratches.

He said that the events were just part of wider plans to create more entertainment value for fans. He said the aim was to build a party atmosphere around the racing.

“We continue to layer in new elements at each Grand Prix and this innovative driver presentation format seemingly was an appropriate addition for Austin.

“We want to do something that positions Formula 1 Grands Prix as breaking the boundaries, between sport and a show, thus becoming a unique event that, minute by minute is an unforgettable experience.”

The expanded entertainment has resulted in a number of changes being made to the normal Formula 1 schedule for a race weekend. Qualifying will take place later than usual at 4pm local time (10pm BST).

Sunday’s race start time is unchanged at 2pm (8pm BST). However cars will leave pit lane 15 minutes earlier than usual to make time for the driver introductions.