After years of anticipation with many Formula 1 fans hoping this weekend would eventually materialize, F1 is taking on Miami for the first time with Sunday’s Miami Grand Prix (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC).
The race will be on a purpose-built circuit around Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, and, hopefully, it will live up to all the hype and produce captivating racing, in addition to some awesome views.
But because the Miami Grand Prix is new to the schedule this year — it joins the U.S. Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin as the only other American F1 race, currently, before Las Vegas is added to the mix in 2023 — it might be helpful to know a few fast facts about event and venue.
So before the on-track action gets going, here’s what you want and need to know about the Miami Grand Prix.
1 The drivers are pumped
— Good Morning America (@GMA) May 2, 2022
Seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton was a guest on Good Morning America this week to talk about Miami and said:
“It’s a bit nerve-racking because it’s going to be such huge event for us. We obviously have the race in Austin, Texas, which has always been amazing. The first race I had out here was Indianapolis in 2007. But now with the Netflix series Drive to Survive growing, now we have two grands prix in the States and then we have another one in Vegas next year. So it’s going to be huge.”
McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo recently jointed Trevor Noah on The Daily Show ahead of the Miami Grand Prix, and the Australian racer, who famously loves racing in the U.S. at COTA, showed his excitement the newest American race. But he also explained the challenges for F1 drivers of a new track and how, like many other racers, they rely on simulators to prepare.
“Getting to a new circuit, [it] gives you a chance to maybe catch onto something a little quicker than someone else, so it can maybe create a bigger separation for the ones that click and maybe the ones that struggle a bit more,” Ricciardo said.
— Sergio Pérez (@SChecoPerez) May 6, 2022
Yeah. I like it here 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/orP6bTQ4dW
— Lando Norris (@LandoNorris) May 4, 2022
🌶🇺🇸 Good morning Miami!! I’m sure all of you guys are enjoying the fuss around the GP!! Now it’s finally time to hit the track!!
— Carlos Sainz (@Carlossainz55) May 6, 2022
Lesssgo MIAMI 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/9MW3Si2JmT
— Lando Norris (@LandoNorris) May 4, 2022
2 The track's official name is Miami International Autodrome
The venue is in Miami Gardens, nearly encircles Hard Rock Stadium and includes much of the stadium’s surrounding parking area. But the Miami Grand Prix is not technically at Hard Rock. It’s the Miami International Autodrome.
3 Miami Grand Prix course layout
The circuit wraps around three of the four sides of Hard Rock Stadium and through the adjacent Miami Open tennis courts. It’s 5.41 kilometers long, or about 3.36 miles, and it features 19 turns, three straights and three DRS zones. It also has an estimated top speed of 320 kilometers per hour, or about 199 miles per hour, and the race is 57 laps.
FIA’s Head of Vehicle Performance, Craig Wilson, said, via F1:
“The best overtaking spots will almost certainly be at the end of the DRS zones – most likely Turns 11 and 17, with a more uncertain chance at Turn 1. On the first lap, or after Safety Car restarts, we may see some overtaking into Turn 4 if cars are racing through the first three corners.”
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 4, 2022
4 F1 simulated three dozen layouts in Miami Gardens
After initially eyeing downtown Miami for this race, it ended up about 16 miles north of that area. And to perfect the ideal layout for the circuit, F1 and Apex Circuit Design created 36 different simulations before deciding on the current 19-turn track. More via F1:
“You could walk around the top deck of the stadium and see every corner on the race track – and that’s pretty unique,” said Tom Garfinkel, Vice-Chairman, President & CEO, Hard Rock Stadium.
5 The venue includes a fake marina
You may have heard about this before… Because Miami Gardens is so north of Miami and not particularly close to the coastline, event organizers had to get a bit creative in order to still have some type of marina/beach vibe at the race. So a fake marina was created, “filled” with fake water and dry-docked yachts.
The location and event may be playing up all the glitz and glam this weekend, but this idea leaves a lot to be desired. But it’s hilarious nonetheless.
6 The new Miami GP trophy was designed by Tiffany and Co.
7 Teams and drivers are embracing all things Miami — and with some awesome helmets too
ʀᴇᴀᴅʏ ғᴏʀ ᴍɪᴀᴍɪ 🌴🦩
This is one of my favorite helmet designs up to now and I can’t wait to take it out on track 🤩 🚀
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) May 3, 2022
— BWT Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) May 5, 2022
🏖️🏀🕶 Whasssup MIAMI! pic.twitter.com/fkLhaIpBPM
— 周冠宇 | Zhou Guanyu 🇨🇳 (@ZhouGuanyu24) May 5, 2022
Not 1 but 3.. because it’s Miami 🇺🇸
— Valtteri Bottas (@ValtteriBottas) May 6, 2022
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) May 6, 2022
Good morning from…🌴☀️
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) May 5, 2022
— Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN (@alfaromeoorlen) May 5, 2022
— Mick Schumacher (@SchumacherMick) May 6, 2022
Miami ☀️🏝 pic.twitter.com/Hx0tLcYTBX
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) May 6, 2022
— Valtteri Bottas (@ValtteriBottas) May 5, 2022
Daniel Ricciardo's Ace Ventura: Pet Detective inspired helmet for Miami is absolutely incredible 😅🐬
— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) May 6, 2022
8 Miami is the 11th different U.S. venue for F1
While F1’s visit to Miami is a first and part of a 10-year deal, it’s previously raced all over the U.S. The country has hosted 71 grands prix, which is a record for any country with F1 races.
Before Miami was added, the U.S. Grand Prix at COTA was the lone American race on the schedule in recent years. And in 2023, there will be three U.S. races with Las Vegas joining Austin and Miami. But beyond that, the U.S. has a rich history hosting F1 events, including the Indianapolis 500 once upon a time.
Here’s a look at where F1 has raced in the U.S. previously, per F1:
- Indianapolis Motor Speedway: 19 races, 1950-1960 (Indy 500) and 2000-2007 (U.S. Grand Prix)
- Sebring International Raceway (Florida): 1 race, 1959
- Riverside International Raceway (California): 1 race, 1960
- Watkins Glen International (New York): 20 races, 1961-1980
- Long Beach street course (California): 8 races, 1976-1983
- Las Vegas (in the parking lot of Caesars Palace): 2 races, 1981-1982
- Detroit street course: 7 races, 1982-1988
- Dallas Fair Park: 1 race, 1984
- Phoenix street course: 3 races, 1989-1991
- Circuit of The Americas (Austin): 9 races*, 2012-2019 and 2021
*That’s nine races so far with the 10th coming up in October. The 2020 U.S. Grand Prix was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.