F1 has struck a deal to host a second race on the shores of the United States of America, with Miami – famed for its sandy beaches, art deco vibe, vibrant multiculturalism and rich sporting heritage – set to join the calendar in 2022. Here’s your ultimate guide of what to expect from the 19-turn temporary street circuit – the US’s 11th F1 location – in Miami Gardens…
The race adds to Miami’s extraordinary sporting legacy
Miami and sports are synonymous. Speaking of a major American sport, Miami has a team. The city of Florida is home to the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League team. The Hard Rock Stadium will be surrounded by the latest F1 Grand Prix circuit.
The Miami Marlins and Major League Soccer’s Miami International are of course partly owned by football legend David Beckham. In order to complete the quintet of major sports teams, there is also the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League, who play in the nearby Sunrise team.
F1, then, will be extending a proud sporting legacy when it hits the Sunshine State next year for the first race in a 10-year deal.
F1 simulated 36 different layouts in Miami Gardens
After initially trialling circuit layouts in Downtown Miami in August 2017, the promoter, Formula 1 and Apex Circuit Design switched their attention to a site a few miles north two years later.
In addition to field trips, the team also spent several days on Google Earth, trying different combinations. This is certainly not a temporary job. Since starting work on the project four years ago, Apex and F1 have created an astonishing 75 layout changes on various proposed sites.
Focusing on the current site, the team have simulated an impressive 36 different layouts, before landing on the current iteration – a 19-turn track that has the Hard Rock Stadium at its heart – and will have an average speed of around 223km/h or 138mph.
“You could walk around the top deck of the stadium and see every corner on the race track – and that’s pretty unique,” said Tom Garfinkel, Vice-Chairman, President & CEO, Hard Rock Stadium.
It’ll be a day race, though the session times will be adjusted to be sympathetic to the local area’s needs, such as working around the school runs on a Friday afternoon when practice takes place.
It’s a temporary circuit with a permanent feel
With a top speed of approximately 320 km/h or 198 mph, this track will have the atmosphere of a street circuit, similar to Melbourne’s stunning Albert Park where the Australian Grand Prix is held, because the venue is at other times For other purposes.
However, the layout will be more akin to a permanent circuit. It’s predominantly flat, but there are some small undulations to the land, which designers have integrated into the circuit.
The main elevation change can be found between Turns 13 and 16, with the track heading over an exit ramp and under various flyovers across uneven ground. For example, the Turn 14-15 chicane has an uphill approach, with a crest in the middle of the chicane and then drops down on exit.
With the Hard Rock Stadium – which features a 12-cabin gondola cable car system, the first to be built at any stadium in the US no less – taking centre stage, organisers plan to use the venue for spectators and facilities, with later iterations of the design relocating the pits and paddock club complex directly adjacent to the north side of the stadium.