Miami F1 track changes allowed designers to go "a little bit mad"

The designers of the Miami Formula 1 track were able to go "a little bit mad" with the circuit layout after a major public road was removed from the proposal.

Miami F1 track changes allowed designers to go "a little bit mad"

The Miami International Autodrome is situated within the campus of the Hard Rock Stadium as a semi-permanent circuit, ensuring the complex can return to hosting its traditional sporting events once the F1 weekend is over.

A number of proposals for a race in Miami faced opposition - including hosting a race downtown - and the original track layout at the Hard Rock Stadium was also subject to pushback due to its use of 199th Street.

It prompted organisers to take the decision not to incorporate 199th Street due to the concerns raised by local residents about the disruption it would cause.

Instead of using the road, the track layout was made tighter at what is now Turn 8 following a series of esses between Turn 4 and Turn 7. Turn 8 then sets up a 1.4km run to Turn 11, negotiating the complex used for the Miami Open tennis tournament that finished in early April.

"We had to change a lot when 199th Street wasn't credible as an option," said Clive Bowen, the founder of Apex Circuit Design that designed the track.

"But that introduced the opportunity for us to go a little bit mad. So instead of us going through the west [parking] lot and onto 199th Street, we turned a little tighter and navigated around the western gondola station.

"Then we drive straight through the centre of Miami Open tennis complex, which was unpopular as you can imagine.

"So we had to work out how to engineer that, get the levels to work, get the drainage to work, get the relationships between the courts to still work, build the track before the tennis open itself was open to operate.

"Once the tennis open was finished, we had to very quickly clear their apparatus away and convert it into the circuit."

A view of the track

A view of the track

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

The track design pays homage to a number of existing circuits on the F1 calendar. Bowen compared Turn 8 to the Beausset corner at Paul Ricard, and felt the following high-speed run to Turn 11 was similar to the final sector in Baku.

Exiting Turn 11, a stadium section is intended to give a tip of the hat to the Foro Sol in Mexico City. The tight sequence going downhill from the chicane into Turn 16 is also meant to punish mistakes for any drivers running wide, similar to the Wall of Champions in Montreal.

One recent change made to the circuit was the removal of the kerbs through Turns 6 and 7, prompted by Mick Schumacher's high-speed crash in Jeddah, where he lost control of his Haas car after running wide through the quick sequence.

"Instead have a flat kerb base that's painted to look like a kerb, so that if someone runs wide, we don't have the same beaching problem," Bowen explained.

Bowen felt optimistic the sequence between Turn 4 and Turn 7 would see drivers remain capable of staying close to each other thanks to the new generation of cars. The Miami track is the first to have been designed specifically with the 2022-spec cars in mind.

"That sequence is really quite challenging for the car," Bowen said. "For the previous generation of F1 cars, that would also have resulted in the cars separating. But because of the '22 generation, we have the high ground effect and reduced turbulence over the bodywork, which means the cars can run close to each other.

"We had a big collaborative effort with Formula 1 and their technical personnel to understand what the dynamics of these cars would be, and we designed the track accommodating that expected ground effect era.

"So our hopes are that the cars will stay in close station through to the exit of Turn 8, where they can then run to Turn 11."

shares
comments
The F1 races in the US that didn't work: Indianapolis, Dallas & more
Previous article

The F1 races in the US that didn't work: Indianapolis, Dallas & more

Next article

The "total shift" driving America's F1 interest surge

The "total shift" driving America's F1 interest surge
How the last Sauber-built Alfa offers F1 2023 evolution clues Plus

How the last Sauber-built Alfa offers F1 2023 evolution clues

Alfa Romeo has become the first Formula 1 team to reveal a new car for 2023, in addition to a fresh livery. This offered a first look at some of the understated changes produced by the revised regulations, along with points of convergence in the second year of the ground effect rules

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline Plus

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

In the hands of Ayrton Senna the actively suspended 99T would be the last F1 race-winning Lotus but, as STUART CODLING reveals, it was a complicated machine that caused more problems than it solved

Formula 1
Feb 5, 2023
How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1 Plus

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Formula 1’s transformation into a global sport meant the gradual extinction for a small team determined to stay true to its low-budget roots. But Tyrrell would eventually be reborn as a world-beating outfit again, explains MAURICE HAMILTON, albeit in different colours…

Formula 1
Feb 4, 2023
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023