“Unique” Miami F1 track will be more than just a race in a car park – Masi

2022 Miami Grand Prix

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The circuit which will hold America’s second Formula 1 race from next year will not disappoint despite being based in a car park, according to the series’ race director.

The FIA’s Michael Masi visited the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens two weeks ago where building work on the Miami International Autodrome is underway.

The unconventional course is being laid out on the land around the stadium, much of which is currently used for car parking. However Masi said he had a “great” initial impression of the facility, which he believes will be a “proper circuit.”

Often described as a ‘street’ track, the course will largely avoid public roads due to the promoters’ agreement with city councillors. Once complete its configuration will be comparable to many other F1 circuits. The 5.41 kilometre track will include 19 corners and three significant acceleration zones, with cars hitting top speeds of 320kph.

Miami’s track will be the 11th different venue F1 has raced at in America. Among those was another circuit based in a car park, the Caesar’s Palace track in Las Vegas, often held up as an example of F1’s unsuccessful past efforts to crack the US market. The unloved layout largely failed to inspire either drivers or local interest, despite holding a pair of title-deciding races in the early eighties.

Miami International Autodrome, 2021
Track data: Miami International Autodrome
But Masi expects good things from Miami’s new venue. “It’s far from a race in a car park, far from it, considering the level of work that is ongoing there in a number of areas,” he said. “The facility’s coming along really, really well and will be something unique.”

The circuit developers face the unusual challenge of having to construct a track around a venue which is in regular use. The Hard Rock Stadium is home to the Miami Dolphins NFL team.

“They’re having to integrate an NFL season between all the work that they’re doing and sort of compartmentalise the areas of work they’re doing at the stadium,” Masi explained. “I think it’s a credit to them they were doing major work there last week then obviously had to put everything back to a level for the Dolphins game to happen on the weekend and start again sort of the following day. So Miami’s coming along really well.”

Cars parked around the site of turns four and five during a Miami Dolphins game last week

Images: Miami Grand Prix

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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55 comments on ““Unique” Miami F1 track will be more than just a race in a car park – Masi”

  1. My problem with this is the same problem I have with most of the new circuits, That been they all share the same characteristics because they are all designed to tick boxes.

    They all have to have a boringly long straight with a tight corner at each end, They all have to have a slower ‘stadium’ type section & they all have to have a faster section that tries to copy Maggotts/Becketts/Chapel or the esses at Suzuka, They all have to be devoid of bumps using the same sort of tarmac mix which also offers a lot of grip. And street circuits like this just look/feel like the permanent venues now for the most part as they tend to be built rather than inserted onto the everyday roads as they used to be.

    Everything just has a very samey look/feel to it now be it a permanent or temporary circuit & that for me anyway just makes it hard to get that excited about any of them.

    1. 100% agreed. Also: indeed, they’ve been confusing a “street track” with a “track in a city” for a long time now. Best example: Montreal.

      1. Well tbh I think Montreal is more of a real street circuit. Plenty of places were the wall is right besides the track on the exit of the corner.

        1. Axel, you confuse a street track with a track with near walls. Putting walls near the track does a street track not make. Watkins Glen has walls right near the asphalt, but has nothing to do with a street track, does it?

          1. Half of the circuit in Montreal is on the actual street that runs around the shore of the island.

          2. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
            2nd November 2021, 7:44

            You mention Watkins Glen, ah if only, a great American circuit with real character and history.

            A sign of the times that F1 won’t even consider going there, continually prostituting itself chasing money. Why is F1 like that? Its a sport, it should be more than just about money. Sickening.

            Ah Road America… dreaming….

          3. some racing fan
            2nd November 2021, 22:34

            Montreal is a street track- it’s just not a city street track. It’s located in a park on an island in the middle of a river that runs along the city center.

      2. Albert park.

    2. Agreed. I keep hoping that in their effort to capture/solidify the US market, someone or group will purchase a piece of land and create the American Spa/Nordschleife. I’m getting used to disappointment.

    3. I agree, we are getting too many circuits that seem to follow a same pattern. It´s hardly worth adding more races to the calendar if they all going to have the same characteristics.

      To be fair, there isn´t much room for creativity around a car park. Not much can be done, and there aren´t any major elevation changes to help either.

    4. That final sector looks horrible as well – reminds me of the chicane and hairpin the led on to the back straight at Abu Dhabi and stopped everyone from being able to race. Turn 6/7/8 (which is 1 turn, not 3) looks like it’d be fun to drive and find the right line through although it’s a shame they’ll have scrubbed off a lot of speed with the two corners before – hitting that at high speed would be a real challenge to get it slowed down mid-turn.

    5. It’s unfortunate because there are US venues Liberty could exploit for the race history, and instead they’re just trying to figure out ways to make races work in cities they think will be popular internationally. Florida has Daytona and Sebring – both of those might draw race fans from outside the US (maybe a few from the US too?). Laguna Seca is in Monterey – not exactly a terrible place to visit and known quite well to race fans and non-race fans alike. Watching modern F1 cars on the corkscrew would be amazing to see. Yes, yes they’re not grade 1 but if they can certify a stadium parking lot grade 1 I’m sure it can be done for a real track.

    6. CotA blows most of your arguments out of the water– except it’s not a temporary circuit.

      The real problem is that people seem to think harbors**, and other coastal areas, are great for racing– and for speedboats, they’re right.

      For Grand Prix events, it’s somewhat questionable. Everything is really, really flat**, so the only opportunity for interesting racing is stop/start straights/corners**.

      **Monaco is the exception to everything.

      1. Just back from COTA and though great race and track, poor management caused lots of issues. Ran out of bottled water and (of all the important things for my wife) toilet paper! Decided not to test this new venue for two reasons, that being one. The other being it appears this track will be boringly flat. Hope it works out, but have my doubts.

    7. some racing fan
      1st November 2021, 20:11

      I agree completely. I am personally sick of these box-checking tracks. The Miami track as it stands needs a few changes- like a very fast first corner, like Turn 1 at Sebring (without the bumps of course).

    8. The other issue with street tracks is, even after spending on all the infrastructure, there is no flow-on impacts to the local motor sport community, no new venue for them to race at or drive on. If we only have street tracks, where do aspiring F1 drivers get to take their Honda Civic for a lap?

    9. Comment of the millennium.

  2. Still trying to hype up a race at a car park just so Liberty could go to Miami. The location is not appealing either being surrounded by a residential area that doesn’t want the race. Maybe the international visitors are looking forward to shopping at Walmart? What a poor place for a race.

    1. Don’t be so cynical. I bet you it will be great!!
      And Liberty will prove it was great with the results of a fan survey

    2. some racing fan
      1st November 2021, 20:19

      You probably haven’t been there, so reserve your judgement until the event actually happens.

  3. Will it be a night race to add to the “uniqueness”?

  4. Well they were hardly going to say “it’s going to be a bit rubbish actually” were they…

  5. That’s right. It’s a race in a carpark… in America!!!!

  6. A circuit with the equivalent character of one of the Kardashians.

    1. … but fewer elevation changes.

      1. some racing fan
        1st November 2021, 20:22

        There is no elevation change on the Floridian peninsula- none. It is flatter than the Netherlands.

        1. We have a few garbage dump sites with serious elevation. Could do a COTA turn one style multiple times a lap. Of course it wouldn’t bring in the bribes….. income, of a parking lot.

        2. Hrm. Then that ridge I live on in the middle of the state that places me 170 feet (~52 meters) above sea level must not exist (not the highest point on the peninsula by a long stretch).

          There’s plenty of elevation change, but you have to be north of Ochechobee. Which Miami isn’t.

  7. I really hope it’s not going to be Caesar’s Palace reloaded. I’ve watched every race since 1981 and the Las Vegas track was without doubt the worst.

    Regarding this track I’m curious how will they manage the safety of turns 3 and 9 exits.

    Nevertheless, two races in the States are a welcomed readdition to the calendar, though I would love to see Indianapolis back.

    1. For those who are quick to compare this to the Caesar’s Palace track, please look at the layout of both, before you embarrass yourselves.

      1. some racing fan
        1st November 2021, 20:18

        Thank you. Even though Vegas has changed a whole lot since that disaster of a circuit existed in the early 80s, F1 shouldn’t go back there.

    2. @vali
      Caesars wasn’t all bad.
      What other course can one see the entire course (tops of the helmets, anyway) from all the grandstands?
      What other track can a driver hose one set of turns and have a chance to do them again, on the same lap!

      Okay, it sucked but we went for free so it was worth it.
      (We were building stuff for the LBGP Racing Association at the time.)

    3. some racing fan
      1st November 2021, 20:21

      Indianapolis would be great- but not on the current or previous road track. I hope they can come up with a Daytona 24H-like track where they use just about all of the oval.

  8. I kinda like the picture above the title of the article. What does that look like if not like a car park?

  9. Unless F1 cars cannot cope with the banking would it not have been been easier to give Daytona Road Course Grade 1 status? I mean, it is in the same state, it can host 100,000 plus people and is not a narrow circuit or one with zero runoff. Meanwhile, it has heritage and is a great course (overtaking on the banking would be much more exciting than overtaking on that long straight).

    This course does not look awful but it has very little unique qualities, being fairly similar to most modern courses.

  10. someone or something
    1st November 2021, 17:27

    “We resent the notion that the race will suck because it takes place on a car park.”

    “I mean, it will suck, but not because it’s on a car park.”

  11. “In a car park” America has area of 9 834 000 km² and we are racing in a car park. Yes it is close to a city and that stadium looks cool. But didn’t F1 tried that once before? I want this Miami race to work but I feel like this idea was too easy. Yes there are all those FIA Grade 1 rules but a car park.. Really?

  12. Masi is ex V8 Supercar there is that. No doubt the Miami race will have all the razza matazz liberty can throw at it and sometime during the weekend a race or two will be held. One of them will be called a Grand Prix even though it will be indistinguishable from the other race, it will likely be a flat boring race to suit the carpark it’s being held in.

    1. It will be flat and boring but does it matter? Binauto Brown Massi Will declare it the most greatest success and on to next year.

  13. some racing fan
    1st November 2021, 20:16

    Miami is a going to be place for an F1 GP- much better than Vegas. Beautiful beaches, restaurants, resorts, and a cosmopolitan and multi-cultural atmosphere. We will have to see how this temporary track shapes up- it doesn’t look bad but there are a few thing that should be changed with it.

    1. It’s in the suburbs. And yes, there IS a Walmart right across the street.

      1. some racing fan
        2nd November 2021, 22:32

        Miami Gardens is not a particularly exciting area (it’s the suburbs), and it is a little dangerous- I would not recommend spending any time outside the stadium area. But the fun places where people want to be- i.e. downtown Miami and the beaches up and down the whole Miami area are not far away.

    2. You are thinking Miami Beach, considering the horrendous traffic in the area the track is not “next door”. I still remember when we where going to a race to see…. a race and race cars , but hey that was a bit silly.

    3. An actual street race in the Miami Beach area would be interesting. Unfortunately it could not easily happen. What we have here is a very restricted layout shoehorned into a car park. It can be done very quickly with minimal costs. An initial high return on the investment is possible the first year or two. Whether it will have good racing qualities is irrelevant. F1 is in the Miami area and Liberty’s is lining their pockets.

      1. some racing fan
        2nd November 2021, 22:29

        That could not happen easily- because the narrowness of the roads, the huge commercial activity there and from a racing perspective, the grid system of Miami Beach would create a Phoenix street circuit-like situation where although the track may be good for passing, it’s not a challenge to the drivers.

    4. You do realize May is not a great time to be in Miami, Good chance fans in cheap seats will get baked in the hot 90 deg. sun or need really good umbrella’a or both? When it rains, it’s a pretty insane amount when it does but can also go away pretty quickly but the humidity doesn’t go away. The ocean water is also in high 80’s so not really refreshing swims.

      At least the hotels will have lots of vacancies that time of year.

      1. some racing fan
        2nd November 2021, 22:27

        I agree- this date is effectively pushing the tolerable conditions to their limits- this weekend the Miami GP is scheduled is literally the last weekend before the intense afternoon rainstorms start to become more frequent, and the heat and humidity starts to pick up around April. This race should be the opening event of the season- and you can’t have it later in the year because of the NFL season and the Dolphins’ and the University of Miami’s use of the stadium. Anyone who compares this place to the conditions of equatorial Malaysia is forgetting that the heat and humidity is the same all year around there- and not in Miami.

  14. some racing fan
    1st November 2021, 20:24

    *be a great place

  15. It will be a race in a mall, like in Blues Brothers

  16. Looks like someone tried to draw interlagos from memory while blindfolded

  17. “It’s far from a race in a car park, far from it”

    Always a good way to start conversation regarding an upcoming race.

  18. it’s a close match between how sad and how poor this is

  19. That’s the opposite, Masi. And never forget Baku 2021.

  20. Interesting layout but is it to f1’s scale? A good layout is definitely not just the shape.
    Demeaning to have f1 on a car park but Albert park is brilliant and too shares bits of car park.
    I’ll keep an open mind.

  21. If the circuit is in the stadium carpark, where will the racegoers get to park their cars? In the stadium?

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