Lando Norris, McLaren, Miami International Autodrome, 2022

F1 drivers concerned “terrible” grip will make passing difficult at Miami

2022 Miami Grand Prix

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Formula 1 drivers have expressed concerns that poor grip off-line at Miami International Autodrome will make overtaking difficult in Sunday’s race.

The 5.4km circuit set around the grounds of Hard Rock Stadium, the home of the Miami Dolphins NFL team, features fast, sweeping turns, two long straights followed by hairpins and a tight and narrow technical sequence in the second sector.

Drivers took to the track for the first time in Friday’s two practice sessions with several drivers spinning and Carlos Sainz Jnr and Valtteri Bottas both crashing heavily to end their respective days’ running.

“It’s really disappointing that there is no grip off-line,” said Sergio Perez after the first two practice sessions at the new track on Friday. “It’s a shame because I think the racing will be bad due to that.

“As soon as you try to go off-line, there is no grip. It’s damp, probably it’s wet on that side. It feels very gravelly off-line. So yeah, racing will be hard.”

Lando Norris echoed Perez’s comments, saying the lack of grip at some points on the track explained why several drivers spun or crashed during practice.

“It’s extremely tricky,” said the McLaren driver. “It’s very bumpy in some areas, which was maybe not quite what we were expecting. I think everyone was expecting it to be very smooth and beautiful but it’s not.

“The surface is very tricky as well. You go off-line anywhere and it’s pretty much game over. You spin and you end up in in the wall. So it’s punishing. That’s why we’ve seen quite a few people ending up in the barriers.”

The race organisers repaired two patches of track before F1 practice began on Friday. Norris is hoping they can find other ways to improve the grip ahead of final practice.

“It’s a bit weird, if you go off-line anywhere it’s just terrible,” he said. “So I’m hoping they can do something a little bit better. I don’t know what.

“I think when they clean the track, it helps. This morning there was a lot of marbles and stuff and as soon as you went off-line, it was game over. But it was the same in P2, it started better, but then as soon as there’s a little bit of marbles, you go off-line and it’s terrible.”

Several drivers had predicted the track’s long straights would aid overtaking. Norris is concerned the grip problem may make it hard to pass.

“I feel like it’s not going to be great for racing now. It’s just tricky, it’s like one line you’ve got to stick to and that’s it. So it’s a bit restricting, you can’t do many differences compared to other people, so it limits you a little bit.

“That’s the negatives. The positive is it’s still a fun track. It’s challenging, it is difficult, it’s punishing and still a fun-ish track to drive. So all in all, a reasonable day.”

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2022 Miami Grand Prix

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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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19 comments on “F1 drivers concerned “terrible” grip will make passing difficult at Miami”

  1. A poor copy of Half Baku and Half Jeddah. Not impressed by the track.

  2. Track looks trash. Boring tilke drome yet again.

    1. Tilke didn’t even design the track lol

  3. SHR Modding
    7th May 2022, 1:07

    i’m beginning to think the comments on this site are really outliers now. people seem to love the circuit over on YouTube etc. having driven it in a sim i also enjoy it a lot. the chicane section is particularly hard to get right. nice to see circuits giving the drivers a challenge

    1. It’s because this site is for the “true fans,” aka a bunch of whiney, negative people who are never happy about anything.

      1. Michael A.
        7th May 2022, 7:48

        To: LS,
        There are ‘fans’ and there are enthusiasts!

    2. LyndaMarks
      7th May 2022, 1:30

      It’s because the fans on dedicated f1 sites tend to be the most knowledgeable and dedicated fans who understand the sport.

      We can see through the artificial nonsense and horrible gimmicks and know a good track from a bad one. We also don’t like seeing horrible car park tracks like this brought in at the expense of fantastic venues like istanbul, either of the german circuits or putting spa among others under threat.

      There are so many great tracks around including some in the us that deserve and should have a gp instead of these horrible, boring uninteresting car parks.

      The casual social media types have far less knowledge of the sport or understanding of what makes a good track. Just look at the difference between the social media youtube crowd demanding monaco be dropped over the f1 fan surveys and focus groups that put monaco as one of the most popular tracks.

      We understand the sport, they dont and don’t care to because they just need constant action to justify there time reacting on twitter.

      1. SHR Modding
        7th May 2022, 2:16

        I was referring to comments about the track layout specifically and not anything else. Also have you been on YouTube lately? Quite a few knowledgeable fans on there who also watch other motorsports not just f1. Youtube etc opened my eyes to other forms of motorsports and sim racing which further broadened my horizon in that regard. Don’t undervalue the power of that.

        Also the less knowledgeabke learn over time and become diehard fans. You don’t learn everything overnight. Within the last two weeks one of my bosses at work has got into f1 big time. Someone you’d never expect to do so considering their lack of interest in related subjects. But they already know so much about the sport, have been watching older races in the time off between current races, looking up the rules for xyz, watching practice sessions etc in full (how many diehard fans watch practice sessions?!). This person for example has already concluded that alonso is a much better driver than his stats suggest. You don’t get to that level if you’re not interested. Behind every twitter post which you see as a ‘casual fan’ there is a diehard fan in the making or at least potential to be. At least f1 understands this because if the commenters on here ran the sport we’d have none left by now

        You’ll find a lot of people on here would also like Monaco dropped. (not including myself)

        And I think the rest of your comment isn’t worth responding to because I think it proves @nsfls‘s point

        1. The massive difference between the current spec’d F1 chassis and any other motorsport chassis’s is the new massive size & weight of a current F1 car that we cant make it comparable racing, it’s literally the same size of a Ford F-150 pickup and no comparison to what we’ve known in the past to be a F1 racing car, it’s now very different and far from nimble.
          While at the same time, tracks are getting more and more miniaturized and narrower compared to older classic & valued F1 tracks in order to suit new stadium like venues that could increase F1’s income and not necessarily designed 1st to provide the best racing which require massive amount of land and very costly. Those two aspects don’t go well together and don’t really provide good classic F1 racing that is loved. Almost all other racing cars have a better chance to race and pass on these tracks than current F1 cars simply because they’re smaller/narrower and have less performance, opening up opportunities for drivers abilities to make up the difference and challenge and for the simple fact, they fit better on the track.

          I can see why long time racing enthusiast are not excited about watching F1 racing at this new track. Personally I don’t see a lot of normal racing passing options and more of parade, unless someone makes a gross error or cowboys it with a low percentage rate of success maneuver and throws it in there. Some may like to that, typically to me, that’s not the best racing.
          In regards to comparing it to a sim, there’s a huge difference between the challenge of a driver against a track and watching a competitive racing event between drivers, challenging each other. I don’t think the track should be the biggest competitor in the race, a good track should be a venue providing increased competition between drivers and allow opportunities to let drivers challenge & race each other and the best ones rise to the top by the end of the race. I think this has been lost in the direction F1 has been heading but there’s still hope and we’ve yet to see one race at this venue so it’s too early to judge.

      2. LyndaMarks +1

  4. good… another procession!
    only people with a car that are willing to risk it is MV and CL.. they will be 1 and 2, either way.. the rest will just folllow

    we need MV or CL to start from down the grid to see some fun… :) :(

    1. SHR Modding
      7th May 2022, 2:17

      That’s what everyone said before Baku and look how that turned out…

  5. Looking forward to a interesting race bit of rain would be good also

  6. Literally yesterday:

    1. F1 drivers predict “a lot of overtaking” on Miami’s “mini-Baku” circuit

  7. If not the grip, then the terrible lay out of the circuit which adds exactly zero in terms of newness or innovativations or anything you would imagine they would try to make the racing better. The track is not important to Liberty. The revenue of the circus surrounding it is.

  8. I don’t understand, that after the Istanbul and Portimao, they still don’t prepare a green track by having alot of trackdays and lower series formula cars drive away the dust and throw down a layer of rubber.

  9. Drivers, didn’t you understand your orders! Do not criticise the Super Bowl of F1!

    But seriously it all comes down to tyres again and in particular marbles! How do we make tyres that cause less marbles?

    1. ‘We’ can start by putting the tyres under far less stress.
      First, cut the downforce to a fraction of it’s current levels (reduce aero loading).
      Second, drastically reduce the mass of the cars (reduce mechanical loading and shearing of the tyre surface).
      Third, reduce the fuel loads the cars need to carry (reintroduce refuelling).

      That’ll get rid of 2/3 of the marbles.
      Then perhaps look at using less ‘perfect’ ashphalt/tarmac blends with a more open grain to allow the rubber to settle into the surface rather than lay on top (reduced friction co-efficient).
      Then ‘we’ can start approaching the tyres themselves differently.

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