If it seems like F1 has been trying to get a race in Miami for ages, that’s because it has. In fact, if all had gone to plan, we would already have had a Miami Grand Prix in 2019, held on a funky-looking track which went across a massive bridge.
Complaints from local residents saw that idea canned, however. But instead of dropping the idea altogether, F1 instead looked at a different location in and around the grounds of the Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins NFL team. An agreement was made and an initial layout drawn up, but that too drew criticism from the locals. It’s almost like they don’t want F1 in their back yards. However, organisers have stuck with it and come up with a layout that doesn’t involve any streets, won’t disrupt local schools. The result? The entire thing essentially takes place in a car park.
The F1 Miami Grand Prix will showcase Miami-Dade and Miami Gardens to the World. See new track below – world-class racing w/o using 199th St, and no racing during school hours. We hope the County Commission will support our effort to deliver this huge global event to you! pic.twitter.com/VqF5AnPMJT
— Tom Garfinkel (@TomGarfinkel) January 21, 2020
It doesn’t look entirely awful – there’s a long straight for passing, a mixture of different corner types and a few fast-looking sections. Then again, on paper, the Valencia street circuit looked like it might be good and that turned out to be awful.
America has utilised car parks for F1 tracks in the past, too. In 1981 and 1982, a Las Vegas GP was held in the grounds of the Caesars Palace hotel and although it made for some alright racing, the layout was incredibly dull and it looked very much like what it was – a temporary track laid out with concrete blocks on a featureless bit of land.
Miami could be a little different, though – the Hard Rock Stadium is an eye-catching structure and should make for an impressive backdrop. It’s not just an empty tarmac parking area being used, either – there are enough service roads and greenery in the area to give the race a real identity.
There’s still a little way to go until it’s confirmed, but the organisers want it to happen and F1 wants it to happen, so it seems like one way or another, the Miami GP is happening.
If the locals agree to this latest proposal, then an agreement has already been made to include the race on the 2021 calendar. That’ll mark the first time a country has held two races in a season since 2012 (Spain had races Barcelona and Valencia), and the first time the USA has had that honour since 1985, when there were street races in Detroit and Dallas.