until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

Russell offers first hints of how good Miami F1 track will be

by Edd Straw
4 min read

George Russell has given the first credible insight into what Formula 1 can expect from the inaugural Miami Grand Prix after visiting the track and experiencing it on a simulator.

Russell has described the circuit that will host next year’s inaugural Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix as “exciting” having been to the venue after last month’s United States Grand Prix.

Williams has released a video showing onboard footage of him driving a 2022 F1 car on the 3.36-mile, 19-turn circuit that loops round the Hard Rock Stadium.

The Miami International Circuit will host the sixth race of the 2022 season in early May and Russell believes that it offers both a variety of corners and good overtaking opportunities.

“I went to Miami and saw the new circuit ready for next year, which was exciting,” said Russell during the Mexican GP weekend.

“Miami is a really cool city, I think it’s going to be another amazing weekend, as it was in Austin, and this street-style circuit with some long straights will offer some good overtaking opportunities.

“I managed to do some laps on a simulator, which was nice.

“I didn’t realise it but I was standing on one of the straights when I walked into the stadium.

“Obviously, it’s still in its early stages of development but what they have planned is really exciting. I drove on the simulator and that was a really pleasant experience.

“It was fast and flowing, had some really tight corners and some really long straights, which I think will offer some good overtaking opportunities.

“So for a circuit that’s quite defined by the limitations of its surroundings, I think they’ve done a really good job.”

The track is the work of Apex Circuit Design, which has produced a track with an estimated average speed of pushing 140mph in what Russell points out is a limited area surrounding the Hard Rock Stadium.

With the start/finish straight relatively short, the two main overtaking areas appear to be the blast from Turn 8 through some flat out kinks to the Turn 11 left-hander, which Russell took in third gear.

The long run from Turn 16 to 17 is the other obvious overtaking opportunity as that ends with another third gear left-hander.

Miami Map Corners

The rest of the circuit features a combination of the fast and flowing sections Russell refers to as well as sections that have “a real street vibe with some tight and twisty corners”. The twisty section before the straight that runs from Turn 16 to 17 even features some elevation change.

While it is a street circuit, it has more in common with the feel of the more modern ‘urban’ circuits such as the Valencia street circuit used from 2008-2012, Sochi and even the never-used Vietnam circuit in Hanoi that was due to host its first grand prix last year.

It’s unfair to judge the circuit based on watching onboard footage from a simulator, but while it feels somewhat generic due to its nature, Apex have done an effective job to create a quick, by street circuit standards, track that isn’t dominate by 90-degree right handers and that Russell believes offers a good driving challenge.

How good it will be for racing is likely to depend on the effectiveness of the new regulations for 2022, which are designed to increase the “raceability” of the cars.

But regardless of how well the track works, the inaugural event looks set to be a success with a capacity race day crowd of 80,000 anticipated given the pre-registration levels for ticket purchases.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Race Day Imola, Italy

Miami GP managing partner Tom Garfinkel said in April that the intention is for fans to be “blown away” by the Miami International Circuit and its surroundings.

Although the track itself, at first glance, does not appear to be a modern classic – how could a track of that style compare to the road course feel of the Circuit of the Americas that hosted the US Grand Prix? – the wider event could well deliver on that aim.

“We want to create an environment where people are blown away when they get there,” said Garfinkel.

“We are starting with a blank sheet of paper, to be able to design a circuit with the designers and F1 and the FIA that has a lot of passing opportunities.

“There’s going to be vistas from the stadium which sits at the centre of the circuit. You could walk around the top deck of the stadium and see every turn in the racetrack. I think that’s a pretty unique opportunity.

“The infrastructure we have in place, the club spaces, the things we can take advantage of in and around the campus, it’s going to be beautiful.

“I don’t really see any limitations, in fact I just see opportunities.”

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • More Networks