Racing lines: Miami sun brings bright future to GP racing Car News

The relationship between the United States and Formula 1 has been patchy at best for the past four decades. During the 1960s and 1970s, Watkins Glen in leafy New York State was a popular fall grand prix venue, while a street race in Long Beach, Calif., Gave F1 successes. Strong foundations on both coasts of the planet’s largest commercial market – until both slipped off the schedule in the early 1980s. America has been a problem for F1 ever since.

That’s why the recent confirmation that U.S. F1 commercial rights holder Liberty Media has signed a 10-year deal to host a grand prix in glamorous Miami, Florida starting in 2022, really matters.

Of course, F1 already has an established and popular base at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, but since its debut in 2012, the business realities of selling eff wun in this charming city have been biting hard.

Miami looks set to host its grand prix in the spring, allowing COTA to maintain its end-of-season niche, much like Long Beach and Watkins Glen in the past. But it is the commercial mecca of the Sunshine State that will become the center of interest. The place is glitzy, awkward, synthetic, a bit sordid… in other words, a perfect fit for F1.

Freedom saves face

It’s only astonishing that it took F1 so long to establish a Miami Grand Prix – and that’s another story. Since Liberty took over the helm of the series in 2017, a run in the city has been its main target, only for plans that have been sabotaged by opposition from politicians and locals.

Liberty’s failure to strike a deal in his own country has become humiliating, while other unsuccessful attempts to expand F1’s reach have added to the blushes. It was a corruption scandal rather than the pandemic that really scuttled the much-vaunted Vietnam GP last year.

Therefore, the Miami GP represents an important flag in the ground for new F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, just months after Saudi Arabia was announced as a new big-budget host. Now F1 has to make these races positive additions from a sporting as well as a business perspective.

On a recent visit to Jeddah for Saudi Arabia’s Extreme E race, I inadvertently visited the grand prix site which is due to take its bow on December 5th (to attend a Covid-19 test center). To describe this Red Sea resort town as run down is an understatement. In fact, from what I’ve seen, Worthing looks like Monaco.

As for Miami, a 19-turn, 3.36-mile street track will be created around Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins football team. Unlike previous American street tours in Las Vegas, Dallas, Detroit, and Phoenix, this one had better not disappoint.

Will F1 ever return to Indianapolis?

Miami as a complement, rather than a replacement, Austin seems to leave little room for a return to F1 at Indianapolis, which hosted the United States GP between 2000 and 2007. But such is the strong perception of the United States in F1. (deserved or not). these days), we probably shouldn’t rule out the possibility of a third race there, especially under Liberty.

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This notice was published: 2021-05-12 23:01:25