The reality of a Formula 1 Grand Prix in Miami is a little closer, with the announcement of an agreement in principle between F1 and the race organisers
F1’s plan to have a race in Miami is hardly new, but it has found a suitable and equally desirable location hard to come by. Back in late March, a race along the harbour front was stunted by a council vote and brought everything back to square 1. Also, you may remember that the Miami GP was provisionally penciled in as a 2019 race.
However, it seems as if ground has been (metaphorically) broken, thanks to the NFL’s Miami Dolphins - maybe keen to divert attention away from its dreadful start to the season. The proposed track loops around the team’s Hard Rock Stadium and the surrounding land and car parks, while not falling into the usual American F1 street track trap of having a multitude of 90° corners. More than anyone could possibly need in the world.
There are a few long straights and faux-straights with some sweeping and slower corners in the mix too, which could be conducive to some good overtaking opportunities. There’s currently no confirmation regarding who has designed the track, but Hermann Tilke is probably a safe bet considering his increasing fondness for street circuits - F1’s “future” in his eyes.
The other trick is that the use and disruption of the land around the stadium requires the approval of fewer council and organisation bodies compared to the harbour front location. But County Commissioner for Miami-Dade Barbara Jordan is still against the holding of the event, and says her community shares her feelings after a meeting was held last month.
A statement on the Miami race’s website, released on Tuesday evening, included:
“We are thrilled to announce that Formula 1 and Hard Rock stadium have reached an agreement in principle to host the first ever Formula One Miami Grand Prix at Hard Rock Stadium. With an estimated annual impact of more than $400million and 35,000 room nights, the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix will be an economic juggernaut for South Florida each and every year. We are deeply grateful to our fans, elected officials and the local tourism industry for their patience and support throughout this process. We look forward to bringing the greatest racing spectacle on the planet for the first time to one of the world’s most iconic and glamorous regions.”
F1 is still desperate to make further inroads into the American market, with CEO Chase Carey an extra race there one of the main priorities for Liberty Media and F1. As for what race it moves ahead of, Barcelona could finally be saying goodbye to F1 after surviving a close call for 2020 due to financial troubles. The Miami race is looking for a May timeslot, which only strengthens that hunch.
Hopefully it’s not just one snoozefest for another.