The Miami GP addresses the much-maligned track issue for the 2023 F1 race

“The surface is a joke” and feels “wet” when going off the line. These were some of the criticisms leveled at the Miami Grand Prix circuit by Formula 1 drivers during the first race weekend last May.

The drivers were loud after their very first day trying out the circuit that sparked F1’s 10-year deal with Miami.

Fernando Alonso called the tarmac “non-F1 standard”, and particular criticism was directed at the lack of off-road grip – with complaints that it felt like driving “almost on gravel”, according to world champion Max Verstappen.

This led to Doom predictions for the race – “The race is going to be bad†, warned Sergio Perez – but in the end there were a respectable 45 overtakes (according to the race organizers) which included a pass for the race lead.

And things could continue to improve in 2023 as the second Miami GP will be held on a repaved track which should improve grip and consequently overtaking opportunities.

Miami GP organizer Tom Garfinkel claims the change wasn’t necessary as feedback among drivers and teams was mixed – and essentially conflicting – but believes it will improve overtaking frequency.

“We could have just brought back last year’s circuit,†said Garfinkel at an event in London last weekend.

“The goal we set ourselves was to race great, overtake and ride side by side.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Miami Grand Prix Race Day Miami, USA

“Last year there were parts of the circuit where there was a line where there should be an opportunity to overtake, so we weren’t happy with that.

“So we’re going to go ahead and repave it to try and take it where the racing is better. It’s going well enough (already) according to the teams and drivers, but we want it to be as good as possible, so we did it

Aside from the resurfacing, no track changes will be made for 2023, although changes have been considered – including discussions surrounding the Turn 14/15 chicane, which race winner Verstappen said he would only enjoy in a kart.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Miami Grand Prix Race Day Miami, USA

“The chicane area was actually expanded in this way for safety reasons,†explained Garfinkel.

“We spoke to all the team bosses, all the drivers, F1 and the FIA ​​and there were different opinions about the chicane.

“Some riders didn’t like it, others thought it was ok and it was the same feedback across the grid – everywhere. Some liked it, some didn’t, some didn’t care!

“When we went through it with Formula 1 and the FIA ​​we decided that we will not make any changes now.

“We’ve been thinking about maybe smoothing it out a bit, we’re still looking at this and haven’t finalized things yet, but for now it’s going to stay that way. This is based on the feedback we have received.

“There will be less runoff because some of the hospitality areas are moving closer to the circuit, but the layout itself is basically the same.”

Although there was a wealth of criticism of the on-track racing potential leading up to the Grand Prix, the off-track spectacle was probably the most memorable element of Miami’s F1 debut.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Miami Grand Prix Preparation Day Miami, USA

Hard Rock Stadium immediately provided an iconic backdrop for the fledgling event and will be even more integrated in 2023 with a brand new paddock complex on the football field within the stadium.

“We’re building new paddock club buildings, last year the garages were permanent but the top two floors were temporary,” Garfinkel said.

“We didn’t have time to build a permanent building, but this year we’re building it (to be permanent).

“We hope it will be a first class Paddock Club building for all to enjoy.

Miami stadium f1 team village render

“It’s going to be reconnected to the stadium, we’re adding a couple of suites. Added some (more) grandstand tickets and standing room tickets (general admission) to increase capacity a bit – more to come.

“We are very excited about all these developments and changes. We will also move the tennis courts to the stadium, move the team hospitality, and create a team hospitality village and paddock on the football pitch at the stadium (pictured above).â€‌


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