The Saudi Arabian driver track walk was held up to film the music video.
Formula 1 fever is in full swing, with support for the series bigger than ever thanks to the popular Netflix series Formula 1: Drive to Survive, more American races, and interest from celebrities like Brad Pitt and Keanu Reeves. But the latest bit of media to center around the top tier of motorsport is utterly cringeworthy: a new music video for a song by will.i.am and Lil Wayne entitled The Formula, which includes footage filmed the weekend of the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and features all the current F1 team's cars, including Max Verstappen's Red Bull and Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes.
You can watch the music video below, but spoiler alert: it's horrible!
Maybe it's the bad CGI, or the cringey lyrics (I know, the kids will love it and I'm just old), or perhaps it's just that will.i.am is wearing what looks like a bad knock-off Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team jacket, but this in no way brings good publicity to the sport.
Choice lines include "You're a small fry, need ketchup," and "My car fly like a Jetson," with special mention made of Sir Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen with Lil Wayne's lines, "Got 'em braided like Lewis, got a Mercedes like Lewis," and "Yo girl my co-captain, driving like Max Verstappen." This is quality songwriting right here!
The backup dancers in ill-fitting pit crew outfits don't lend the video any credibility, either.
There are other flaws too, like will.i.am's Mercedes regalia bearing an IBM logo, despite the fact that IBM was a Red Bull sponsor until 2021 and no longer sponsors any team. There's also a mock-up of an F1 car that initially looks like Mercedes' all-black car, except for the fact that it has an IBM logo, again, and it bears the race number 33, which belongs to Max Verstappen.
We know will.i.am has an, er, eccentric sense of taste. After all, that much is apparent from his latest collaboration with Mercedes-AMG, aptly, or cringely, named the WILL.I.AMG, which was a one-off car built for Mr. i.am featuring suicide doors, a G-Class front end, and a glass roof. That car was revealed at an F1 Grand Prix - last year's inaugural Miami GP - and will.i.am has regularly frequented other races.
He's clearly a fan, but we can't help but feel there are better ways to show your love for the sport. Brad Pitt, for example, is working with Lewis Hamilton on what is said to be the most factually accurate F1 film ever, and will even drive a custom-made F1 car at the Silverstone Grand Prix.
Keanu Reeves, meanwhile, is working on a docuseries to tell the story of F1's most successful team ever, Brawn GP, which has a 100% Championship success rate.
We're big fans of F1 and seeing new fans enter the fray, but perhaps Liberty Media might want to be a little more selective over who they let use the sport's naming rights.
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