Miami: A Track that Generates Expectation in Formula One
The 2022 season of the highest category of motorsports brings many new features. The main one is the incursion of the Grand Prix in the capital of Florida, which has provoked very positive reactions in those who have already visited it.
LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano
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Leer en español: Miami: un trazado que genera expectativa en la Fórmula Uno
Sunday, May 8, is marked in bright colors on the 2022 Formula One calendar, since, for the first time in history, Miami will host a Grand Prix. This is thanks to its International Autodrome, which has an attractive layout prone to high speed and with curves different from the common ones, which are observed in more traditional circuits.
The setting is emblematic, as it surrounds the imposing Hard Rock Stadium, while the circuit is unusual and innovative as it has its own artificial pool for yachts inside the track. The United States is the country that currently bets the most on F1, and, in fact, in 2023 it will join Las Vegas in the annual program.
The Miami Grand Prix is made up of 19 curves with a very slow intermediate sector that has unusual variants on the calendar. At the same time, it presents two counter-straight lines of extensive extension, where there will be possibilities of overtaking. In total there will be 57 laps of the track with a length of 5,412 meters.
Miami's history with Formula One dates back to 2015 when Stephen Ross, owner of the NFL's Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium, tried to buy shares in the highest category of motorsports, losing his intention to the Liberty group, which put more money on the table in 2017.
From there, Ross raised eyebrows to bring F1 to Miami, supported by the vertiginous growth of this competition in the United States in recent years. An estimated 400,000 spectators attended the US Grand Prix in 2021.
What is described in the previous paragraphs is corroborated by the protagonists, that is, by the drivers who have been lucky enough to visit the facilities under construction before the Grand Prix itself is held this Sunday, May 8.
One of them is Pierre Gasly, from the Alpha Tauri team, who was sent to Miami to promote the image of the circuit in the midst of the expansion phase of the Formula One brand in the US market thanks to the intervention of Liberty Media.
The French driver was able to recognize the track through a simulator and did not avoid praising the racetrack where it will be released in a few days. “I have tried it and I must say that it is incredible, I really like the track. It has quite a few very challenging high-speed sections, some unusual corners, others extremely long, kilometric straights, ”he detailed for Autosport, in statements compiled by Card and Driver.
In turn, the Mexican Sergio Pérez, who did have the opportunity to compete at the international racetrack thanks to a Red Bull promotional event in which he lost his helmet, said: “I hope the asphalt is good and we can have exciting races like when I was here. We usually find positive surprises when we arrive at new circuits, I trust that this is no exception".
The Miami Grand Prix has sold very well and Gasly endorses that by saying, “I think we should have a pretty good American show. The location is unique. It's going to be entertaining all weekend and I'm really looking forward to it."
The British brand Apex Circuit Design developed a 5.4-kilometer-long layout, designed in an urban context in the Miami Gardens area. It is a space right around the Hard Rock Stadium, where the Miami Dolphins of the NFL play.
It will be a very fast track, and in theory favorable to Ferrari, which will have the unbeatable opportunity to put Red Bull on the ropes. The latter reaches the fifth valid after a very important double in Ímola, with victory for his champion, Max Verstappen. They are, in theory, the two best-positioned teams for this race.
The current leader of the standings, Charles Leclerc, had to settle for a sixth-place in Imola, after a driving error in the closing laps of the Emilia Romagna GP. Despite this, the Monegasque still maintains his place with 27 points over the current world champion.
A change approved in 2020 meant that NW 199 St. was not used so as not to disturb traffic, so thanks to this detail the entire circuit is located in the aforementioned stadium. The construction of the track is permanent, for this, it was agreed to use it for at least 10 years for the Miami GP until 2031.
The layout consists of 19 corners, with three DRS zones and top speed before the key corners, which are 1, 11, and 17. In the last mentioned, the single-seaters are expected to reach a top speed of almost 320 kilometers per hour. The only thing that is dismantled during the season is protection elements such as barriers.
Miami Joins the Renovation
There are many changes in relation to previous seasons, as many of the circuits in which the drivers will compete in 2022 will be used for the first time due to the pandemic. Among these are the Suzuka circuits (Japan), the Marina Bay (Singapore), the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit (Canada), and the Albert Park (Australia), the first three being the ones that generate the most expected in the public.
It is necessary to remember that in the calendar there was a significant change with the suppression of the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi, after the invasion of this country Ukraine. This venue has no substitute and F1 has not yet found a venue for that weekend, stipulated between September 23 and 25, so the schedule could be only 22 valid.
The interesting thing is that F1 does not cease in its objective to have greater scope and maintains in its regular calendar a series of tracks that were introduced to fill the gaps left by the first mentions in 2020 and 2021, such as the already disputed Imola (Italy) and Portimao (Portugal).