Miami, lame or interesting circuit?

The brand new Miami International Autodrome is hosting Formula 1 for the first time this weekend.

It sucks

The controversy around the true-false marina – where the boats “bathe” on concrete – reminds us that this unique layout is above all a huge improved parking lot. Drawn by the company Apex circuit design, it winds around Hard Rock Stadium, the scene of the Miami Dolphins meetings. asphalt zigzags at high speed (230 km on average) between two concrete wallslike the very controversial route inaugurated a few months ago in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia).

We are very far from the initial project, which intended to organize the Grand Prix on the bridges of the central districts of the metropolis. On the glamor side and despite an abundant marketing campaign, this is not monaco

Worse, it’s a circuit potentially dangerous. Some areas drawn under highway bridges are worrying. As Jontys_corner points out on Twitter about them: “They are very low. Have we forgotten Valencia? “.

He is referring here to the danger posed by a accident similar to that which occurred between Mark Webber and Heikki Kovalainen at the 2010 European Grand Prix. The Australian’s Red Bull had taken off several meters from the ground before crashing into a pile of tires. With a bridge over your head, you can imagine the consequences…

According to its designers, the layout respects the recommendation of the International Automobile Federation requiring a ceiling height of four meters.

It’s interesting

The relocation of the circuit to North Miami had a consequence. She left more latitude to the teams of Clive Bowen (the boss of Apex) to design a track allowing overtaking with a modern Formula 1. According to the designers, 36 different configurations were simulated before this one was selected.

The two long straights leading to turns 11 (Florida’s Turnpike) and 17 (Hospitality Village) will offer drivers real opportunities to overtake, in particular thanks to the DRS. Red Bull driver Sergio Pérez believes that the circuit should generate “good competition”

Moreover, two winding sections promise to be particularly technical for the pilots. The sequence of turns 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 (around the famous marina) will be the main piece of bravery of the route. The narrow and winding area (turns 11 to 16) will allow the single-seaters to follow each other as closely as possible without being unwind. Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri) sees it as a “Formula E type zone”.

Miami Tour

Bowen: “We made sure the circuit had a personality a la Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, with sections with cant and the need to obtain maximum traction, favoring a flexible adjustment of the single-seaters. And after, fast sections where a very hard tuned single-seater is necessary”. This could lead to divergent setting choices between the teams. And maybe an exciting grand prix on Sunday night.

Miami International Autodrome

  • Length: 5.41km
  • Turns: 19
  • Grade 1 (FIA)

Photo: Icon Sport / XPB

To read on

First lap boarded on the Miami circuit

Tony Brooks (1932-2022): great pilot… and gentleman

Formula 1: the arrival of Porsche and Audi formalized

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