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Miami promoters ‘scrap plan for downtown F1 race’

2020 F1 season

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A Formula 1 race in Miami will not take place at the downtown location which was originally chosen as the grand prix venue.

The promoters behind the planned Miami Grand Prix have abandoned efforts to hold the race on a street track in the Bayside area. They are now in discussions to run the event near the Hard Rock Stadium, home to the Miami Dolphins American football team.

The Miami Herald claims Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, who is seeking to hold a race in Miami, has agreed with F1 that the original race venue is not viable.

Last year the sport abandoned its effort to add a Miami round to the 2019 F1 calendar following local opposition to the race. Efforts to secure a slot for the race on next year’s schedule ran into trouble earlier this month when the city commission postponed discussions on a resolution to approve the race until May 23rd.

“We want to do something great for Miami,” vice chairman and CEO of the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium Tom Garfinkel told the Herald. “But unfortunately when we finally received the detailed report of what it would take to build out a street circuit each year, the multiple weeks of traffic and construction disruption to the port, Bayfront Park and the residents and businesses on Biscayne Boulevard would have been significant; which Steve and I felt defeated the purpose.”

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2019 Miami Grand Prix F1 track proposal
2019 Miami Grand Prix F1 track proposal

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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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25 comments on “Miami promoters ‘scrap plan for downtown F1 race’”

  1. It would be nice to think we could all stop talking now about not having a race in Miami.

  2. That is, of course, if a race in Miami is ever going to happen in the first place. The more the proposed 2nd US race in Miami and or the decisions on it get postponed the more likely it’s starting to look that it won’t ever happen after all just like with the NJ race at Port Imperial early this decade.

  3. Hey F1. If you want a second US race, there’s this place called Watkins Glen which would be fantastic. Road America, or even a return to IMS are also a possibility. In fact, if you want a street circuit, how about racing in a slightly modified Long Beach?

    1. Laguna Seca, imagine F1 cars in the corkscrew

      1. As awesome as that would be, a lap will be very short and they probably need a front wing change each lol

    2. From a purists perspective, sure, Watkins Glen, Road America, Latina Seca! But the reality is that F1 needs to be visible to the common American. Your average joe isn’t going to make the trek to COTA to watch a race, hence the need for a street track in a city.

      1. Damn auto correct! Latina = Laguna

    3. @ofitus21, asides from the comments that @jaymenon10 has made about the sport wanting to make itself more visible to the average person – and, as I understand it, some of those venues do not have particularly good infrastructure links and are a bit remote – the IndyCar series are also likely to present a problem.

      In the past, IndyCar is known to have inserted a “non-compete” clause in their contracts that was designed to stop circuits from bidding to hold an F1 race, as it would force the circuit to have to pay fairly substantial financial penalties to IndyCar if they did so – Long Beach is one of those venues which was forced to sign such a clause. The IndyCar series is not keen to see F1 taking over its venues, as it were, so another advantage of looking for a street circuit is the fact that it removes a potential source of conflict with IndyCar.

  4. I’m not necessarily glad this was scrapped, because I do think the US can easily hold a second race, but I’m glad it won’t be on that circuit. F1 already has enough temporary street circuits IMO. I’d rather see it go to either Road America or Laguna Seca.

  5. Miami Gardens, where the hard Rock stadium is located, is not a good neighborhood, but there is alot of land around the stadium. They could even drive thru the stadium IIRC.

    An airport circuit not to far from there at
    Opa Locka airport would be interesting.

    The downtown circuit would be best for all parties involved.

    1. I’d love the circuit to go via Ocean Drive in South Beach.
      I think I’ll book my hotel room there on various dates just in case ;)

  6. Josh (@canadianjosh)
    25th April 2019, 0:18

    Upstate New York in Watkins Glen is and would be just as pretty with views of forests and lakes as anyplace in the US. A helicopter ride to NYC after each day and a GUARANTEED sellout even for Thursday media day. This place should be considered.

    1. Would indycar approval be required?

      And if so, would it be given?

      1. IndyCar doesn’t race at Watkins Glen anymore.

        I’d be more worried about the FIA demanding that these classic US road courses get torn apart to meet their stringent safety requirements.

  7. Want a good race with lots of passing? Burke Lakefront Airport where CART used to race. Talk about a scramble fest…

  8. I’m sure there is a reason, but can anyone tell me why the Indianapolis track that used to host F1 is no longer used or considered?

    1. @dbradock Back in the day, it was dropped due to the tyre fiasco of 2005, but it’s been a long time since that, so, therefore, returning there shouldn’t be a problem anymore.

    2. Because the sport burned IMS owner Tony George and family tore up much of the infield golf course to build the course. Business-wise, they want no part of F1 since the race lost money every year it occurred.

  9. Promise the race. Just because. Check
    Hype the race to stratosphere. Check
    Engage analysts, do proper evaluations and scrap the race. Check

    Good, good. Shows how proper thinking in F1 is engaged only as a last step (if at all)… when it should have been the first.

    1. Yeah, i wonder if the Vietnamese GP will happen

  10. I’m glad this weak track isn’t going to happen. There are plenty of other venues already able to host as most have mentioned. The US does not need a second race anyway. COTA is fine and should be promoted better. Put a race in a place I would actually want to go on vacation. I’m not spending my hard earned money to go to Malaysia, or Vietnam, to sit in 100 degree heat with 100 percent humidity. Put a race in the Bahamas, or Bermuda. You can call it the Caribbean GP.

  11. “… which Steve and I felt defeated the purpose.”
    Wonderfully diplomatic (i.e. BS) comment.

  12. Sad, www looking forward to it.

  13. “[–]when we finally received the detailed report of what it would take to build out a street circuit each year.” So, before any proper plans to hold the race were in place, no one bothered to call anyone from Monaco or Singapore and ask what it takes each year to build the track?

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