Miami F1 track’s chicane is ‘like a B&Q car park’, says Hamilton

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton has likened the turn 14 and 15 chicane at the new Miami circuit to driving a kart around a supermarket car park.

In brief

Miami chicane ‘like a B&Q car park’, says Hamilton

Hamilton has likened the turn 14 and 15 chicane at the new Miami circuit to driving a kart around a supermarket car park.

The tight and twisty section in the second sector caused many challenges for drivers across Friday’s two practice sessions. Hamilton says that the circuit is characterised by bumps and questions the need for the chicane at turns 14 and 15.

“It’s kind of crazy when you think people in this day and age should be able to make a flat road relatively easy,” Hamilton said, “but there’s big, big bumps in so many places where the track joins up somewhere else. So I don’t know if they’ll be able to grind that at night or improve it.

“Otherwise the track’s quite nice to drive, except for the chicane. It’s so tight. It reminds me of being in a B&Q car park when I was seven years old in a go kart going between cars. Maybe in future they can remove that one and it’ll improve the track.”

Miami Grand Prix CEO Richard Cregan told RaceFans on Friday they do not intend to change the corner.

Norris not surprised by Mercedes pace in practice

Lando Norris says he is “not at all” surprised by Mercedes’ pace across the opening day of practice for the Miami Grand Prix.

George Russell went fastest of all on Friday, setting a 1’29.938 that was a tenth quicker than championship leader Charles Leclerc. Asked if he was surprised to see Mercedes so high up the timing screens, Norris replied “not at all”.

“They were P4, P5 in Bahrain,” Norris said. “They’ve been strong all year. Just because they have some bouncing, everyone expects them to be terrible. So no, not at all.

“They’re extremely strong in slow-speed corners. Mercedes have been probably one of the best cars in the slow speed all season, just no one ever looks at the GPS very well and picks it up. So not surprised in any way. It just makes us want to work even harder and try and get past them again.”

Ocon reprimanded for Russell pit lane near-miss

Esteban Ocon has been handed his first non-driving reprimand of the 2022 season after he almost drove into George Russell while leaving his garage at the start of first practice.

Mercedes released Russell from the garage on the green flag, with Ocon being released from his garage by his team. On seeing Russell approaching, an Alpine mechanic tried to signal to Ocon to stop, however he continued out onto the pit lane, forcing Russell to come to a stop.

After investigating the incident, the stewards handed Ocon a non-driving reprimand, his first of the season. The stewards cited Carlos Sainz Jnr receiving a non-driving reprimand for a similar incident at the Bahrain Grand Prix as for why Ocon was given an identical penalty.

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Comment of the day

With FOM pondering whether to bring the promotion of more grands prix in-house, reader PeterG hopes the sport doesn’t try to treat every race like the Miami Grand Prix…

Not every race needs to be a Super Bowl.

Just because some of the new venues can build a fake marina with tons of celebrity glitz and glamour doesn’t mean that traditional venues such as Spa should need to do the same.

The glitz, glamour and hype around traditional venues such as Spa is its history and the circuit itself. They don’t need outside distractions to sell the event because the circuit does it by itself.

If the new venues need all the outside stuff to hype up and sell the event then the track can’t be that good and that has been one of the biggest issues with a lot of the new venues over the past 20 years. Lots of government money to splash out on hype, fireworks and a big show off the track but a racetrack that is average at best.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Peter Dixon and Jonny705!

On this day in motorsport

  • 55 years ago today Denny Hulme scored his first victory in Monaco but Lorenzo Bandini suffered serious injuries in a fiery crash and later died

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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28 comments on “Miami F1 track’s chicane is ‘like a B&Q car park’, says Hamilton”

  1. some racing fan
    7th May 2022, 0:59

    That chicane is real, real bad, and the corner after it is not much better. They need to change that for next year.

    But TBH there are going to be these kinds of teething troubles for the first year. If they were bad enough to the point where it affects safety and the professionalism of the circuit construction questioned, then they shouldn’t come back.

  2. some racing fan
    7th May 2022, 1:02

    And also the COTD is dead right. This razzmatazz approach works for the American races- particularly Miami but it wouldn’t work for the European races.

  3. The Miami Grand Prix contains: 48 million tons of asphalt for the track….

    I seriously doubt that number, as that is 20,000,000 cubic meters of asphalt…….. That’s 12,000,000 tons or 5,000,000 cubic meters of asphalt per mile of track ±. If the track was 100 meters (!) wide, the pavement would be (roughly) 31 meters or 100 feet thick. That’s some track!

  4. SHR Modding
    7th May 2022, 1:14

    there’s nothing wrong with that chicane, nice tight corner to catch them out. i enjoyed the challenge in the sim. of course the drivers aren’t gonna like it. if it was up to them the track would have minimal corners or all fast sweeping ones. if hamilton’s assessment is extrapolated, then the whole of monaco is a b&q carpark

    1. LyndaMarks
      7th May 2022, 1:38

      There is nothing nice about that chicane. By far the worst part of the track and one of the worst sections of any track on the current calendar.

      Rest of the track is rather uninspiring as well. Very little flow, never really gets going.

      And yes ive driven the track in a sim and really didn’t like it at all. Terrible track. Really boring to drive and just as boring to watch cars driving around. Easily in the bottom 5 of circuits on the calendar along with Jeddah, abu dhabi, paul ricard & the revised mexico track that lost all its character and soul in the revamp.

      1. SHR Modding
        7th May 2022, 1:56

        I think turn 1 through to the first braking zone at the end of the first ‘straight’ has a nice flow. Love the technical corners even if in the sim the track is a lot wider than real life. Hoping for an update soon. Also the last two corners are a nice change to the norm and after such a long time it seems we’ll have a curved starting grid. Last corner reminds me of Argentina which was also a great track.

        Anyhow chicane has to stay due to the bridge height and also due to the track gradient not meeting grade 1 requirements of it was removed. And I’m glad its the case.

      2. some racing fan
        7th May 2022, 2:01

        I would also put Bahrain and Barcelona in the worst list and take out Abu Dhabi with its new layout and Miami. Hopefully the layout and issues they’ve had this year will be smoothed out for next year. But I agree with everything else you said.

        1. some racing fan
          7th May 2022, 2:05

          Also they should have this race as the first of the season.

    2. I agree, after watching both practice sessions, I’m a fan of the chicane. That whole section looked awkward on paper, but with the elevation change, maybe combined with the tyres being worked hard from coming through 12, it’s the best kind of awkward. If you’re going to go with a very narrow section track, you may as well make it tricky enough to catch people out. I like the narrow section in Baku too, but I don’t ever remember it catching as many people out as this section did today.

      I’m also glad to see the bumps and even the track surface transitions with the patches that had to be repaved and sealed. Despite not using any real streets, it actually feels something like a proper American, IndyCar-style street circuit, not the sterile, billiard-table-smooth repave jobs at most F1 street circuits.

      1. I haveto agree with the both of you there @markzastrow, SHR Modding. The Chicane makes for a distinct area a driver can get either right or wrong and lose or win a lot of time there and having a few bumps in a track is fine – it gives it character. And the bumps are far less than tracks like CotA have (it was probably built too fast, should have let it settle for a season, but that would probably mean they wouldn’t have been able to complete it for lack of money) and less compared to quite a few of the tracks IndyCar race on.

  5. That section does feel a bit Formula E, but hey it will certainly up the driver concentration. I expect incidents and maybe even a cheeky pass.

  6. Well ‘B&Q’ should have the stumped stateside for a while.

    1. Yes, I read this as BBQ, as in Barbecue and that didn’t make any sense. I guess B&Q is a grocery store or something in England. Apparently, they race go karts there around the parked cars? I still don’t get it, but I will interpret this expression as “the chicane sucks” and I agree with that completely.

      1. B&Q ~ US Home Depot (usually a smaller carpark tho)
        (in Oz it’s Bunnings which helpfully often has a BBQ running in the carpark)

      2. @danarcha It’s a DIY home and building supply store, usually large, basically a huge warehouse, and located on the outskirts of towns with, yes, big flat car parks. Have to admit I read it as BBQ first too!

        1. Nice bit of free advertising for them

          1. Their stores are not exactly missable (and not in a good way).

  7. 299,813,447 feet of fiber and copper cabling

    56,000 miles of cables for a 4 mile circuit? Doubtful. Does anyone ever apply simple maths to these exaggerated claims? The claim for asphalt paving is more than 10% of the entire yearly laid asphalt in the United States.

    1. My guess is that is is 40 million pounds (weight) of asphalt.
      But the cabling isn’t that shocking. We have an installation with 400m of cabling for every meter of equipment. Think of all cabling to marshal stations, the lighting in the stands, etc etc.

  8. At a minimum cost of $40/ton (maximum $80/ton) for asphalt they spent something over $1.92 billion dollars to pave that track! At $0.10/foot for cable (a very good price) they spent $30 million for cables. Damn.

  9. Can we please all agree that 14/15 is now called B&Q?

    1. Yes please @jazz!

    2. @jazz Agreed! It’ll be a nice little marketing win for B&Q and the fact they didn’t even build it themselves ties in nicely.

  10. Interesting comparison but somewhat valid. I can see a slight resemblance.

    Two Andrettis & JV in the mix.

    I’ve seen some images of Corden literally carrying Ricciardo in the pen, & I found those cringy, LOL.

    Re Jenna Fryer’s tweet: A Surprising note, but ultimately serious matter.
    I didn’t really notice anyone on the overhead ramps above the slow-speed section or didn’t think any media people would go there.

    I’d also like to believe Mercedes could still properly join the WDC & WCC battles, but unfortunately, all my hopes started to fade event by event when the competitive order became evident.

    Backlash over W Series continuation. Some people.

    COTD couldn’t be more accurate & spot-on.

  11. They took the Singapore Sling out eventually…

  12. I thought the chicane looked terrible during the first practice just waiting for the wreck to happen. The off camber entry and exit seems just too much too close together.

    Cregan doesn’t need to like the idea of changing something brand new. He should be open minded enough to realize that his unique mistake generator design may be a bit of a mistake.
    Let’s see how it turns out during this race weekend before any talk for changes are made for the future.

  13. I think that chicane is probably one of the worst corners on the F1 calender right now.

    It just looks so slow & fiddly with the cars looking so cumbersome going through it, I just don’t find it fun to watch cars through that section of the lap. And I think it’s going to look even worse in the race when they are heavy on fuel as well as doing some management thats going to make them look even slower.

    As to the track overall I just can’t get into it. It’s bumper than expected which is nice but there’s just nothing about this layout which gets me all that excited about watching cars lapping it. There’s just no corner or section which makes me go ‘wow thats great’ or which I look forward to seeing cars get to each lap.

    Also a bit disappointing to see so many off camber corners, Especially in that slow/fiddly T13-16 section. That was something Tilke always implemented into slower speed corners & something drivers (Past & present) repeatedly said was hindering rather than helping the racing as they induce understeer which exacerbated the difficulties of following another car. This is why when they modified Abu Dhabi last year they got rid of the negative camber at the slower speed corners.

    It’s certainly not the worst i’ve seen F1 run on & I wouldn’t say that it’s awful or anything, It’s just a bit ‘Meh’ for lack of a better way of putting it.

  14. Nothing wrong with a variety of corners, and if it’s where drivers are making the most mistakes it proves it is testing their car control.

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