Miami International Autodrome, 2022

Turn 14 “mistake generator” designed to catch drivers out on new Miami track

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: The Miami International Autodrome constructors say the sequence between turns 13 and 16 is designed to create overtaking opportunities through driver error.

In brief

“Jekyll and Hyde” Miami track will force errors from drivers

Clive Bowen, the founder and director of Apex Circuit Design, the team behind the Miami Grand Prix track, explained how they intend to challenge drivers throughout the 5.4-kilometre lap.

“We had to ensure that we had a race track that had enough of a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ personality,” said Bowen. This included “sections with [gradient] change and a lot of traction which require a soft set-up on a car, then some super high-speed sections where you want to have a stiff setup to get the best from aero performance and therefore lateral grip through the corners.”

The positioning of some barriers has been configured to provoke mistakes from drivers, he added. “The sequence from turn 13 through to 16 is where we thread the needle under the turnpike overpasses,” said Bowen. “Going into turn 14, you don’t see the apex of turn 15 until you’re on the apex of turn 14. It’s what we call a ‘mistake generator’ so the opportunity for drivers to gain position because somebody in front overdrives is quite high.”

Downforce levels will be hardest setup item to choose – Perez

Miami International Autodrome, 2021
Track data: Miami International Autodrome
Sergio Perez said he believes the biggest challenge for teams this weekend will be choosing what level of downforce to run on the unfamiliar Miami track.

“I found the new circuit fun on the simulator and it can potentially be a good place for racing with those very long straights,” Perez said. “I think choosing the right downforce level will be the biggest challenge for all the teams.”

He welcomed F1’s addition of a second race in the USA this year. “It is great that the calendar is expanding more in America, which is a lot closer to home for me and one day I might end up living there,” added the native of Guadalajara, Mexico. “It is a great market for Formula 1 and I am sure there will be a lot of Latin Americans and Mexicans at the race, so hopefully I get a lot of support and it will be a very important race for the team both on and off the track.” to sell data visualisations of F1 cars will use trackside sensors to gather data on the speed and sound of F1 cars during the Miami Grand Prix weekend, which will be used to make visualisations. The visualisations will be displayed in an on-site gallery, where fans can enter a draw to win one of 57 minted into NFTs, awarded the following week.

Alfa Romeo performance “not a fluke”

Alfa Romeo team principal Frédéric Vasseur says the team is determined to continue its strong results from opening races. Valtteri Bottas scored the team’s best finish of the season so far with fifth place at the last race in Imola.

“We approach this race in a strong position and with a confident mood,” said Vasseur. “We showed in Imola, where we fought for the highest positions, that our form from the beginning of the season was not a fluke.”

Alfa Romeo lies fifth in the constructors championship after the first four races. “We are actually improving with every round, and we are in a situation in which we can reap the rewards of our work, but we cannot get carried away,” Vasseur continued. “The whole field is still very compressed and a minor swing in performance, be it track-related or due to upgrades, can mean the balance can shift significantly.

“That’s why we have to keep working hard to extract everything from our package: we know we can score big in every race, but execution needs to be flawless if we want to beat our rivals.”

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Comment of the day

With seemingly wall-to-wall positive response to Miami from within teams, GT Racer raises that it would take a very significant incident for F1 drivers to break ranks on anything to do with the race, as happened in Jeddah:

You won’t hear much criticism of the venue over the weekend as drivers and media have been told to push a positive impression of the circuit.

It’s getting rarer and rarer that you actually get to hear the actual options of those around F1 now. Was a big part of what made what drivers did back on the Friday night in Saudi Arabia rather surprising. They actually half made their actual views public although did very quickly get back on script.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Sush Meerkat, Daniel Dumlao and Aimal!

On this day in motorsport

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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36 comments on “Turn 14 “mistake generator” designed to catch drivers out on new Miami track”

  1. So basically just like the Saudi circuit they have compromised safety for the show by intentionally designing a corner and more worryingly a barrier design to promote mistakes.

    At that part of track should a car hit the wall and stop on track oreven leave aome debris behind a car behind will not be able to see it due to the barrier been designed to make it a blind corner to encourage errors.

    So now we have tracks been artificially designed to encourage accidents….. I mean mistakes.

    1. Oh and in relation to cotd.

      When was the last time anyone in F1 was critical of a new circuit design in terms of saying it was dull, rubbish or whatever even when it was obvious that it was.

      They all praised Valencia, Abu Dhabi, Korea, India, Saudi, Sochi etc.. going into them and even when it was clear the tracks were awful. I think Mark Webber was the only driver in 2008/2009 to say that Valencia/Abu Dhabi were bad tracks and i think it was Mark who first used the phrase ‘car park track’.

      It’s never until a circuit either drops off the schedule or a driver leaves F1 that you start to hear what the really think about these circuits.

      1. Whilst I agree with the rest of your list, as a track I think Korea was alright, it produced some good races, it just seems to have been built in a swamp in the middle of nowhere. It looked like the paddy fields of North Korea, if ever a track needed a painted marina it was Korea.

        Since I never hear of anything being hosted there, I’m going to assume it was a commercial failure.

    2. Don’t worry if a storm is around the circuit this gp might end up like sebring.

      1. A “high water mark” or a “washout”?

    3. Sainz better pay attention.

  2. “… Miami’s top hotels are charging more than $100,0000 a night for their top suites. Chefs are offering special dinners for $3,000 a plate, and night clubs are bringing in top DJs with tables going for up to $100,000 a night. ”

    Am I the only one who’s more than mildly outraged in the abstract just reading those numbers?

    1. Why be outraged? A fool and his money are soon parted.

      The thing to be upset about most here about is the inequality of wealth. How and why should anyone even be able to comfortably pay that much, never mind choose to?

    2. Don’t believe the significance of these numbers.

    3. I’m not outraged particular by the amount some people are willing to be fleeced to stay in a fractionally nicer hotel but the really issue is the knock-on effect this kind of price gouging has on more basic accommodation. It will disbar countless fans (if they come at all now) from staying anywhere near the circuit making their journeys less convenient (worse fan experience) and longer/less efficient (worse environmentally).

      The other issue, which is one F1 might relish, is that it creates the impression the sport is purely for high spending elites. I worry this has become the case in European events too, with spiralling ticket prices very much the norm for many circuits.

      1. Are you new to F1? :D

    4. @exediron These are maxprices, not min prices. Who cares how much the max is?

    5. I see this as the literal definition of “The American Dream”

      1. Not necessarily the American dream, but certainly a capitalists dream.

        1. Capitalist dream to witch the Dominicali & Brown gang seams to have completely capitulated to, when they use this kind of Metrics to quantify success : $1 000 000/ night hotel room = Great racing.

          1. I don’t think we can blame Liberty or F1 for hotel and restaurant prices. Those private businesses are just taking advantage of the opportunities that having F1 in town provides – it’s capitalism and the free market at work.
            Some people think that’s good, some don’t.

            And let’s face it – most of the people who can comfortably afford to pay these ridiculous prices usually aren’t very interested in the quality of the racing, or even if there is actually any racing at all.

  3. The track should suit RB and AT to a T. Both Perez and Gasly have praised the track. I thought the track was going to be more jeddah less sochi but it looks like it is more on the downforce side. Honda is top dog at the moment, ferrari’s new pu better be good.

  4. The Dolphins
    5th May 2022, 2:47

    you don’t see the apex of turn 15 until you’re on the apex of turn 14. It’s what we call a ‘mistake generator’

    Hopefully won’t be used against them in a court of law.

  5. “Mistake generator” is the most cynical euphemism of the year, so far. Cringe.

    1. “We hereby abdicate responsibility for our poor design choices, because The Show.” (not said out-loud)

      1. You’re right.
        They should have just put in another boring straight. That would satisfy everyone…

        1. That’s Social Media today; people complain whatever you do*.

          * not disagreeing that safety should always be a priority.

    2. @ferrox-glideh Maybe bad choice of words, but any hard section of any track is essentially a mistake generator, and probably designed as such. After all, we don’t want ovals.

  6. “excellence generator”

  7. “Going into turn 14, you don’t see the apex of turn 15 until you’re on the apex of turn 14. It’s what we call a ‘mistake generator’ so the opportunity for drivers to gain position because somebody in front overdrives is quite high.”

    Just because a driver doesn’t ‘see’ an apex doesn’t mean mistakes will happen. This is F1. (Most) Drivers pound lap after lap in simulators, practice, are mentally sharp, focused and can practically drive the whole track blind.

    Just look at pre-season car launches where drivers were saying that due to the high tyres, they can’t see the apexes of the corners and could lead to mistakes and also more first lap crash. No mistakes of note have occurred and no first lap crashes. Drivers and teams get used to it very quickly.

  8. Honestly, turn 1 at CotA was designed to give the drivers opportunity to make mistakes.

    This is just getting outraged over semantics.

  9. I love activations. They’re so cool, right?

  10. The tight northeast-end section will be interesting, but I hope it proves a non-issue.

    Drag levels perhaps will be challenging, although not as much as in Spa & Baku.

    The long-time regular Shanghai event needs to re-occur before an additional China race consideration, & next season, this should finally happen. I’d be hugely surprised if even next April proved too soon.

    This track is slower than Jeddah Corniche Circuit in avg lap speed.
    Therefore, fewer reasons for complaining anyway.

    1. @jerejj In relation to your last comment, “not quite as dangerous as the most suicidally dangerous circuit in modern F1 history” is not a great benchmark.

  11. A track that doesn’t challenge a driver is a waste of time. But a track should not be designed to be dangerous just to add to the show, the Saudi track is one such example. This looks to be fast but a bit bland with one section offering a challenge.

  12. I’m not keen on the positioning of the little white concrete barrier on the apex of turn 15, as seen on the uppermost photo. Anyone who’s wall riding the outside barrier of turn 14 due to an accident will end up abruptly having their right hand portion of their car shorn off by this white barrier clumsily sticking out. Perhaps not massively dangerous for the driver having the <80mph accident but it will make a terrible mess of the car and track. Could they not have tucked that barrier in a bit to be flush with turn 14's?

  13. There’s too much science been put into the design/build of racetracks now which is perhaps why so many of the newer one’s going back to the Tilke days feel so sterile & man made.

    Temporary circuits used to follow the city streets, parkland roads or whatever & they used to feature normal road tarmac with all the bumps, dust & other challenges that normal roads feature & that used to give temporary circuits a character & challenge you didn’t get with most of the permanent circuits. Now a lot of these temporary circuits are basically purpose built, They don’t feature any of the things that used to make such tracks so different & challenging. They are super smooth with no bumps, No imperfections & often feel just like most the permanent circuit in actual layout.

    Was reading an article this morning about how they designed the tarmac & put all this science & engineering to create the perfect track surface. And i’ve read similar relating to other circuits not just new additions but resurfacing of old one’s & it just makes me a little sad because giving them a perfect track surface that doesn’t feature bumps or other imperfections takes so much away from a circuits character & challenge.

    And then they start talking about looking at tarmac mixes that they hope will artificially increase tire degredation or using different mixes in different parts of the track to offer less grip in areas to generate errors & it just makes my eye’s roll because they are taking away the elements that used to create some of these challenges naturally & then trying to recreate them artificially and I just think this is the wrong approach.

    1. Thank the teams for the pushing of perfect track surfaces. Racing engineers hate everything they can’t control.
      The last thing they want is for a track to be interesting and have character.

    2. Amen Brother! And they don’t stop at the track surface, for Christ sake, how about fake marinas?

  14. COTD hit a nail very few want to acknowledge. And Im impressed racefans chose it
    Even when the designer of the track flat out mentions his intent to create driver mistakes no one blinks an eye, double standards at its finest (or should I say lowest?)

  15. RE: COTD

    I guess they don’t want a repeat of when Mark Webber called Yas Marina a “tesco’s car park” …

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