Miami F1 track not compromised by move from bay area to stadium – Domenicali

2022 F1 season

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Plans for a grand prix in Miami have not been compromised by its relocation from the Bayfront area to a sports stadium, says Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.

The world championship confirmed on Sunday that years of work to secure a race in the city had finally come to fruition. The first Miami Grand Prix will be held as part of the 2022 F1 season.

The original plans for the circuit were based around Bayfront Park overlooking the waterfront. However local opposition eventually led the race to be relocated around 25 kilometres north to the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. A track has been laid out using the car parks around the facility which is home to the Miami Dolphins NFL team.

Formula 1 CEO insisted the change of venue would prove to be “great” for the sport and was “not a compromise.”

“As always, when you look for a different solution, you need to consider all the elements that make everyone happy,” said Domenicali. “[There was] a lot of discussion for different layouts. I’m sure that the track you’re going to see around the Miami Hard Rock [Stadium] and Miami Gardens will be fantastic. We have built up something that will be spectacular.”

Miami Gardens grand prix circuit
Miami Gardens grand prix circuit
Residents’ concerns over the proposals were not overcome until Miami Gardens mayor Rodney Harris backed a resolution imposing various limitations on the event and agreeing a $5 million fund for local development programmes.

“The community is really happy,” Domenicali continued. “One of the things that we as Formula 1 want is to be really integrated.

“Not only about the fact that there will be a business opportunities for everyone, just to take the opportunity to get into the culture of Miami with the people, with the schools, with the people that are living close to the track. This is really something that will give an added value to the cultural meaning of what Formula 1 is.”

Relocating the race to the stadium could offer benefits over its original location, said Miami Grand Prix managing partner Tom Garfinkel.

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“I think that in some ways it’s going to be a lot better,” he said. “In certain respects, when you talk about when we originally looked at the city design, you have a lot of constraints around a race track.

“One of the first priorities, really the first priority, was creating a great racing circuit for the drivers, for fans, multiple passing opportunities. And when we looked at the Hard Rock site we had basically a blank sheet of paper to work with designers, to work with Formula 1 and obviously the FIA – who I’d like to thank as well – to put together a race track that is is dynamic in a lot of ways, hopefully.

“Secondly, to be able to put on great experiences that are uniquely reflective of the diversity of Miami and everything we do. And again, having existing infrastructure there, having things in place, we think we’re in a better position to be able to do that.”

Garfinkel said the promoters “want to create an environment where people are blown away when they get there.”

“It’s going to be completely transformed into a campus with landscaping and all kinds of different opportunities and food and beverage areas,” he added.

“Starting with a blank sheet of paper, being able to design a circuit with the designers and F1 and FIA that has a lot of passing opportunities, there’s going to be vistas really from the stadium which sits at the centre of the circuit. You could walk around the top deck of the stadium and see every turn in the racetrack. That’s a pretty unique opportunity.

“I think the infrastructure we have in place, the club spaces, the things we can take advantage of in and around the campus, it’s going to be beautiful. I don’t really see any limitations, in fact, I just see opportunities.”

Previous Miami Bayfront circuit designs

Read how Formula 1 finally landed the race it wanted more than any other in the RacingLines column later today on RaceFans

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Author information

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...
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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15 comments on “Miami F1 track not compromised by move from bay area to stadium – Domenicali”

  1. So a flat street circuit that doesn’t sound like a great track at all.

    1. if you take a look at Google Maps, turns 13-14-15-16 must be quite steep because right now there is an exit of a highway (Florida’s turnpike). The long straight is downhill.

      The layout of the circuit doesn’t´t look bad and if it has some change of elevation and the barriers are not too close to the tarcmac (like Vietnam in F1 2020 videogame) it can be a good circuit.

      1. There’s a 3D model of it up on their YouTube channel if you want to watch a lap. Looks pretty flat and valancia-y apart from one change in elevation near the motorway.

  2. Of course it’s not compromised considering that it doesn’t exist anymore.

  3. Verstappen-GP
    21st April 2021, 11:44

    I liked the Bayfront Park layouts CART ran in the early 2000s. But the the Hard Rock Stadium layout looks a lot better than any of the 3 proposed F1 Bayfront Park circuits.

  4. Racing around a car park… reminiscent of the Las Vegas GP in the 80s. Terrible track, terrible location and abandoned after 4 races.

    1. @mrfill I give it a few more than 4 races, maybe 5 or 6 but this is an event that will quickly fade away as the novelty wears off. Florida has no natural elevation change and racing around the car park for a football stadium sounds like a horrible event. Certainly not worthy of the premier open wheel racing championship on the planet. More like a trackday event from some auto manufacturers.

  5. After Ross Brown, here goes Stefano Domenicali. Great people tying the Liberty line no matter what. Corruption knows no boundaries. In defense of Domenicali, he probably worked in his position after the ”hand (full of cash) shake” and is left with no other option but to spit out Liberty’s scripted words soup.

    1. Of course the have to follow Liberty’s line, the work for the company

  6. Watching cars drive around the parking lot of a football stadium is not exciting. Neither is going to Miami IMO. I live in the USA and would not go to this race even if you gave me tickets, food and lodging.
    I see they bought off the locals to get the race approved as well. We will see how many years this lasts.

    1. cars drive around the parking lot of a football stadium is not exciting

      One of the issues with these sorts of tracks is that there’s no visual differentiation over the course of the lap. On tracks like Sochi and Valencia, you couldn’t tell what part of the circuits each driver was on.. and they tend to look quite similar over the entire length of the lap, particularly when shown from onboard shots or cameras close to the edge of the circuit. Those circuits are just flat, with generic walls & catch fencing.

      You hope that the Miami track does something to help viewers recognise the different parts of the lap, and make the sectors look different visually.

  7. I know it wasn’t popular around these parts, but I always liked the first layout with the back-to-back hairpins across the bridge. It would have been unique for a street circuit, like a modern day Avus, and F1 could always use more track variety.

  8. Alot of the circuit maps for Miami on other websites (including website) have a slightly different layout to the pic in this article. For example, those maps have a 90 degree left followed by a hairpin right at the end of the pit straight, which isn’t on this image.

    The layout has the potential to be quite good. Between the Suzuka-like esses in sector 1, Bahrain-esque long straight into braking in sector 2, long back straight like you have in Brazil, it could work from an overtaking perspective. It’s also anti-clockwise, which is less common these days.

    1. @tomcat173 Earlier versions of the Hard Rock Stadium layout did include a corner as you describe:

      However the layout has been through a few iterations and in the latest one presented by F1 last weekend that corner had changed to the form shown above.

      1. @keithcollantine Thanks for clarifying Keith. Should’ve known you wouldn’t post an out of date layout!

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