Formula 1 abandons plans to hold Miami race in 2019

2019 F1 season

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Formula 1 has abandoned plans to hold its first Miami Grand Prix next year.

F1 commercial director Sean Bratches said “significant progress” had been made on arranging the race but that it would not be possible to sign off the event in time for it to be added to the 2019 F1 calendar.

“In the last few months we have worked diligently alongside our promoter Stephen Ross of RSE Ventures, the City of Miami and Miami Dade County, to realise our ambition to bring a Formula 1 Grand Prix to Miami, and we have made significant progress,” said Bratches in a statement. “However, these are complicated negotiations.”

“Whilst our preference would have been to race in Miami in 2019, there was always a point by which delivering the best possible wheel-to-wheel racing experience for our fans, drivers and teams wouldn’t be possible in the time available. We have now reached that point as far as racing in Miami in 2019 is concerned.

“However, we are taking a long-term view and as a result, we have decided, in consultation with the Miami authorities, to postpone sign-off until later in the summer, with the aim of running the first Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix in the 2020 season.”

The proposed race has faced objections from locals, some of which brought a lawsuit against the city complaining about the disruption the planned race would cause.

2019 Miami Grand Prix F1 track proposal
Another new track layout proposed for F1’s Miami Grand Prix
The race promoters were denied permission to use part of the land which was originally earmarked for the circuit. This forced changes to the track design.

“We have always said that we wouldn’t compromise on delivering the best possible race, for the people of Miami, our fans and the 1.8 billion people who watch F1 globally every year,” Bratches added. “If that meant waiting until 2020, then that was far more preferable than signing off on a sub-optimal race track, just to do a deal.

“At every stage of this process we’ve enjoyed positive collaboration and co-operation with the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County, Port of Miami, Bayfront Parks Management, residents and businesses. As a result of these discussions, we have listened and adapted our plans, including elements of the track layout.

“We are committed to expansion in the US and to Miami in particular and we will be bringing our fantastic sport to this iconic city in October with the Formula 1 fan festival, where we look forward to engaging and exciting fans.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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29 comments on “Formula 1 abandons plans to hold Miami race in 2019”

  1. Vettel fan 17 (@)
    23rd July 2018, 16:43

    Well I can’t say I’m not happy

    1. And I can’t say I’m surprised.

  2. It was obviously never going to be ready for 2019, so no surprises there

  3. Ah, what a shame. Who’s going to entertain us with a new track design every week instead?

  4. I would love to see it replaced it (for next year at least) with a non-championship round at an existing American track (Laguna Seca, Watkins Glen, Road America, etc). Just for the fun of it!

    1. @nooma341 The news that Indycar will be at Laguna Seca next year is encouraging. Unfortunately, F1 is too expensive for a non-championship round. Road America would be great if they actually had the infrastructure to hold an F! event (not just the track, which is awesome, but the hotels and airports and resturants, etc. Maybe a historic F1 race on an Indycar weekend?
      PS: I dig your Canada150 graphic!

      1. @ferrox-glideh, in the past, it was rumoured that IndyCar made some circuits sign “non compete” clauses that blocked them from signing a contract to hold an F1 race – I believe there was talk that Long Beach had to sign such a clause in the past, for example.

        There have also been efforts by some circuit owners to block other circuits to stop them getting too many races too, such as the Texas Motor Speedway blocking efforts by COTA to sign a deal with IndyCar – regional politics between different circuit owners would therefore potentially make it hard for one to sign a contract for an F1 race.

        As for non championship races, the big problem is that, even back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the teams had lost their enthusiasm for them. The benefit of a non championship race dropped off as a system of regular payments began to develop instead and over time the teams decided that they just weren’t the effort, hence why they died out back in 1983. It would need a fairly large incentive to make it worthwhile for the teams to want to take part in a non-championship race, otherwise I can see them mostly not bothering.

        As for the suggestion of a historic F1 race on an IndyCar weekend, that seems pretty remote – why would IndyCar want to hold an event that promotes a series that they have always viewed as a rival?

        1. @ferrox-glideh and anon

          My brain agrees with everything you said.

          But it would be so much fun!!!

  5. Least surprising story of the week.

    Don’t worry, there’ll always be 2020, or the year after that, or when New Jersey gets a race…

    1. @eurobrun If it ever gets. It was supposed to happen five years ago already, but never came together.

      1. @jerejj sorry, that was my sarcastic rant that Miami might never happen either! :)

    2. racefans should set a competition: which US city will be the next candidate for a F1 race?
      I bet Los Angeles or Chicago.

      1. @maia gus I doubt about them. Chicago hasn’t been mentioned in this type of context at all while LA is operating in Pacific Time Zone (AFAIA, according to Joe Saward the focus seems to be firmly on the east coast rather than the west due to the time difference to Europe).

        1. One word: Los Angeles night race. Hollywood sign under lights.

      2. Chicago? Ha. An F1 race will never happen there. Going back to Long Beach (Los Angeles) would be nice, and the New Jersey race should be happening, but it isn’t.

  6. Unsurprising news although I had learned about this a few days ago already. Why was the initial plan to attempt to get it ready as soon as for next season already anyway despite the lack of sufficient time to get everything prepared that quickly anyway? Usually, whenever there are reports concerning a potential new venue the initial plan has never really been to get it ready as soon as for the following year (the year after the year when the report has first come out), it’s traditionally always at least a couple of years from that.

  7. Good news. Now if anyone wants to start building luxury hotels near Road America, we will be in business! :)

    1. That might not be a bad idea- Road America is only an hour north of Milwaukee and the drive up is rather easy. If only RA had the proper facilities, then we would all be happy…

  8. Michael Brown (@)
    23rd July 2018, 20:05

    Good, it was an awful track design

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      23rd July 2018, 20:05

      And honestly, Orlando is by far a better tourist destination than Miami

      1. No, it really isn’t. Miami is waaaay more exciting and pleasant a place than Orlando- as a city, even Tampa beats it on that front. People (mostly families with children) go to Orlando only because of Disney. Other than Disney and the convention center there is nothing else there. I lived in Orlando for 2 years and I found little to nothing exciting about it there.

  9. I’m actually a little bit disappointed we won’t be seeing this track next year. A few days ago I took a tour round it using Street View and it looks great on ground level. Sure the bit with the bridge, and the loop at the end of it are a bit odd, but the views are GREAT! When we see it in 2020 (if the residents don’t shoot it down) the bridge section will be unlike anything seen in F1 before.

    Oh and if I was a non-F1 fan resident I would certainly kick off. A lot of trees will have to be dug up, and a lot of disruption to all the roads but in particular the planned main straight will occur to get the track ready.

  10. America has some pretty awesome full time race tracks…use them.

  11. Interesting, first time I’ve seen a railway crossing on a race course.

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      23rd July 2018, 23:39

      I remember a railway crossing was used on a street circuit in either CART or IndyCar. The drivers hated it because the huge bumps were giving them headaches.

    2. Detroit in the ‘80s had one and more recently Baltimore had one. It caused the IndyCars to fly up in the air, so a chicane was made before the light rail tracks.

  12. One of the sort of odd venues CART used to race at that I loved to watch was the Cleveland race at Burke Lakefront Airport. The track was so wide there were an infinite number of racing lines. Always hugely entertaining, with so much passing……

    1. I agree. I enjoyed those races

  13. Too bad. Maybe they can hold the race in March as the opener so they can keep it away from Austin and Mexico City?

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