- The Emirates-sponsored F1 festival, a celebration of all things Formula 1, descends on Chicago on June 8.
- Attendees can look forward to F1 car demonstrations, driver appearances, and music concerts.
- Chicago does not put on an F1 race, so for F1 fans in the Midwest this could be the next best thing.
If your early summer plans include a trip to Chicago and you're a fan of Formula 1 racing, we have bad news: There is not an F1 race happening in the Windy City. But there is an F1 festival featuring drivers, race cars, and live demonstrations that's being held on the Soldier Field campus (between the stadium where Chicago's NFL team plays and McCormick Place, where the Chicago auto show is held every year) on June 8, 2019.
Emirates is putting on the free show, which later moves on to Los Angeles. That's right, the F1 festival is free (parking could be another story, but there's plenty of it around Soldier Field and McCormick Place). During the event, attendees will be able to watch a live feed from Canadian Grand Prix qualifying-so we're not sure exactly which drivers will be on hand, or if they're current drivers.
People also can enjoy live demonstrations of a Formula 1 car driving on Museum Campus Drive, the street that runs between the Lake Michigan shore and Soldier Field, the Field Museum, and Adler Planetarium. This street might be among Chicago's smoothest, which isn't saying much, so it'll be fascinating to watch an F1 car blast down it without shattering. Ditto the F1 car wearing Chicago-themed livery, which organizers will display at locations around the city in the runup to the event, although we assume that one will be trucked to its various locations.
As cool as the festival sounds, we think Chicago is ripe for a city-course F1 race. Provided, of course, it can maintain its roads beyond the usual upper-Midwest standards (as if the word "standards" even applies here). Seeing F1 cars rip down Lakeshore Drive, over the bridge, onto Wacker and down the river before, ahem, looping through the Loop beneath the L tracks and back to Lakeshore via lower Wacker would be quite a thing to behold (Wacker actually has some interesting turns). And surely it'd be easier to pull off than the stillborn New Jersey / New York City F1 race, since Chicago is no stranger to closing off Lakeshore for things like bike races and marathons.
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