Formula 1 have managed to strike a deal for a new track in none other than sunny Miami, USA. Set to join the calendar in 2022, the US’s 11th F1 location will be a 19-turn temporary street circuit.
It has been a deal many years in the making but it seems that F1 and all parties involved have finally come to an agreement with both a location and proposed track layout. Formula 1 and Apex Circuit Design began the project four years ago and managed to create 75 layouts for various tracks across a range of proposed sites. Finally, they landed on a site at Miami Gardens where the Hard Rock Stadium lies at the very centre.
At the current site, the team had simulated 36 different layouts until they reached what we’ve been shown now: a 5.41km, 19-turn track, with three straights, an average speed of around 223km/h (138mph), and an estimated top speed of 320km/h (198mph).
The inclusion of the stadium at the track has been given some derision online but Tom Garfinkel, Vice-Chairman, President & CEO of Hard Rock Stadium said that it will provide a unique feature to the track. Garfinkel told Formula 1,
“You could walk around the top deck of the stadium and see every corner on the racetrack – and that’s pretty unique.”
Whether it will be enough for fans to consider its inclusion worthy remains to be seen.
There were significant challenges when designing the track. Craig Wilson, F1’s Head of Vehicle Performance stated,
“It is actually quite a restricted site to work on, both in terms of existing infrastructure and operationally.”
There are issues with underground drainage management that they have to keep in mind. The Miami Open tennis courts have to be considered, the Florida Highway is right next to the stadium, and there are historical trees surrounding the area. All of this had to be thought about when arriving at the final design. This wasn’t done in a weekend and we can see the four years of work paying off.
This new track is part of Formula 1’s ‘We Race As One’ initiative. The track is, for the first-time in F1 history, hosted in a mostly African-American community, the city of Miami Gardens. The city has been experiencing somewhat of a boom period and F1 is hoping to help continue that trend. The track will create 4,000 new jobs and around 35,000 hotel bookings. This will add up to a $400 million economic injection into the city each year.
On top of this, the promoters will be working closely with the local community to ensure that they receive an allotment of discounted tickets so that they will be able to enjoy the Grand Prix that calls their city home. A programme to support local business and the community will include a STEM education programme through F1 in Schools as well as giving local businesses the opportunity to be a part of the Grand Prix.
It should surely be an interesting track that provides some great benefits to the community. While it is lamentable that the US is given yet another F1 location, they don’t seem to be half-arsing its implementation. It makes sense given F1’s focus on growing their US base. As Stefano Domenicali, President & CEO of Formula 1, said,
“The USA is a key growth market for us, and we are greatly encouraged by our growing reach in the US which will be further supported by this exciting second race.”
The new Miami Grand Prix has been promised not to be held too close to the other US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. Each race will have space to breathe with months separating them.