Poor grip drivers complained about at Miami track due to loose stones – Pirelli

2022 Miami Grand Prix

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Formula 1 drivers complained of a severe lack of grip off-line after their first day of running at the Miami International Autodrome.

Daniel Ricciardo said he suspected the problem was caused by small stones being thrown up by the cars as the new track surface wore away.

“It seems like just the stones are getting loose and kind of get washed just off the line. So if you miss a little bit the apex, then you’re sliding off and it’s difficult.”

F1’s tyre supplier Pirelli backed up Ricciardo’s explanation, saying this was why two patches of the circuit were repaired before Friday’s running began.

“With this new asphalt they are taking off some small stones from the asphalt,” its head of motor sport Mario Isola explained. “That is something that happened also yesterday after the Safety Car was running and the hot laps.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Miami International Autodrome, 2022
Gallery: Miami Grand Prix practice in pictures
“So they put some patches of new asphalt. But still some stones are coming off because we found the stones on the tyres.”

Isola said it is hard to predict whether the situation will improve as the surface continues to wear during today’s sessions. F1 is sharing the track with W Series and Porsches this weekend.

“I’m not sure what is going to happen in the next couple of days,” said Isola on Friday evening in Miami. “Probably it will stay more or less as it is but there is the risk that if they remove some stones, these stones are obviously flying, and when you run on this line then you lose a bit of grip.

“We saw a lot of mistakes today but it’s normal in a new circuit. They have to set up the car and probably they had some snap oversteer that is difficult to control.”

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He doesn’t expect the problem to go away as the track becomes more worn. “It loses the stones from the top but you have other stones,” he said. “So it’s a matter of the aggregate they have used.

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Miami International Autodrome, 2022
Sainz’s high-speed spin wrecked his tyres
“It’s not that removing the stones that it’s much smoother. It’s the same aggregate, just losing some stones.”

However Isola said the track is producing good grip. “We believe that the level of grip is not far from Silverstone,” he said. “That was an assumption that we got from our grip tester, the machine that we run on track to measure the grip. Obviously now we are going to confirm that with the telemetry data.”

Isola also pointed out that drivers can damage their tyres if they spin onto the run-off at certain points on the track.

“When Carlos Sainz spun he was running over the blue run-off area that is very abrasive,” he said. “It’s similar to Paul Ricard that obviously is made on purpose to slow down a car.

“But the result was that the puncture on the front-right tyre was because of the sliding on this blue area. And he had a hole like a coin on the tyre. So basically he was sliding and it damages the tyre.

“If during the race or during practice, a driver is making a mistake and running or spinning on this area then the flat-spot is guaranteed. So basically he has to go back and change the tyres because the vibration can be quite high.”

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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...
RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

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16 comments on “Poor grip drivers complained about at Miami track due to loose stones – Pirelli”

  1. Come on people …. this is the USA we are talking about.

    They will have spent far more money on the fake Marina and hospitality suites than they have spent on the track surface.

    What matters is how fantastic it all looks, and what a great time everyone has.
    No one is really interested in the car stuff.

    1. Spot on mate. Sir LH said that he’s likes to see F1 cracking the USA. I would say the opposite.

    2. I really doubt this was happened to save costs as it is pretty clear the organizers were trying hard to proved the best possible event. Now what was always going to be a problem in Florida Track Heat 50C+, Florida Sandy soil/Winds the marbling for off line passing. Having said this, I am hoping that we see track evolution like in Nascar events where the Racing line Rubber becomes slippery and thus one has to find some cleaner asphalt to keep pace.

  2. Why is the aggregate used not the same as other tracks? I appreciate same cannot be used at every track due to local temperatures but they race at other tracks equally as hot so why not use the same surface as those. Is this due to time constraints to get the track ready?

  3. And we had all those articles last week where they were talking about how much science had been put into developing this high tech, amazing, perfect track surface.

    Or was it a surface made for show rather than sport? They did also talk about error generators and how barriers designed to encourage accidents was a good thing so guess they went all out with an artificially ‘made for show’ track surface as well. The US nascar crowd do love seeing accidents afterall so why not go all out & build the circuit to encourage ‘the big one’.

    But in all seriousness. It’s just not good enough. The US street tracks back in the 1980’s were mocked for having bad track surfaces so if it was deemed unacceptable then the same should be true now. A track surface should not create issues where running offline puts you in the wall/in the runoff because that does nothing but hurt the racing as if you only have 1 line it’s already limited opportunities to overtake as well as creating additional issues for lapping cars & so on.

    I’m sorry but it’s just not good enough considering how much effort and money they claim they put into this track and it’s surface. It was starting to fall apart before any race car has run on it and that’s just unacceptably bad.

    1. As more fans have been calling for more gravel traps, Miami and FIA have decided to create unprecedented creation of gravel traps during the race. Drivers adapting to changing track will create new show and post race poll prediction is already showing strong results.

  4. Pablo Castano
    7th May 2022, 14:20

    Starting to sound like the Dallas GP all over again.

    1. “What matters is how fantastic it all looks,” Spot-on. “It’s better to look good rather than to feel good.”

  5. They apparently had to do some more resurfacing overnight.

  6. It is all marketing. If buying a better track surface doesnt generate more revenue why bother? Need more people with passion running these races.

  7. Good. A new, loose track means this shouldn’t be a boring race as usual.

    1. loose track means this shouldn’t be a boring

      Not necessarily as if the track starts coming up as a bit as it has been then it makes it a single line track which then means overtaking is basically impossible.

      I think back to the 2006 race at Montreal where the track started coming up & there was bits of stone & stuff from the tarmac off the racing line (Just like was seen around this car park track yesterday). If you put even half a wheel onto that you went straight to the wall & the result was that nobody was even trying to look at going offline to overtake which rendered much of that race incredibly dull as a result.

      Jacques Villeneuve went straight into a wall by going probably less than an inch off the racing line lapping a car that had lifted off the throttle to let him past.

      Was just not a fan race as they couldn’t race.

  8. Hearing that most of the drivers don’t have a lot of good things to say about the track.

    Not just the surface or the 13/14 chicane but the track as a whole seems to be getting called uninspiring, dull, unrewarding & boring to drive. I know a few drivers have been comparing it to Valencia & Sochi in terms of how boring it is to drive.

    Daniel Ricciardo was asked what he thought of the track and said “It’s a bit whatever”.

    1. @gt-racer And it’s just as bad on the racing sim.

      I downloaded a version of the track for Assetto Corsa last night to do some laps after FP2 & it truly is an awful track to drive even in the virtual world. One of the tracks i’ll be skipping when I get this years F1 game I think.

      Looks just as bad on the TV as well. A truly below average car park circuit thats just really uninteresting in every regard. And if it’s best feature is an awful chicane and even more awful track surface (With most attention been on everything other than the track action) then it shows just how back the actual track is.

      1. Woke Series makes the track seem exciting…

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