Miami changes get mixed reception

Organisers of the combined ALMS/CART weekend at Miami introduced a modified circuit that went some way toward addressing the complaints registered by drivers in 2002. The new layout was faster, with a 91.951mph pole speed, up 16mph from last year. But the 1.15-mile street course still came in for criticism for its bumpiness.

Miami changes get mixed reception

"I wouldn't even call this a racing track - it's something else," remarked Mika Salo. "I don't think these cars are meant to be here. The circuit is unbelievable - it's short and it's bumpy and it's very narrow. There will be no overtaking in the race - qualifying will be 99 percent of the race.

"I did a couple of rallies in Europe and really, I've never seen anything like this before," he added. "If Formula 1 came here, they would refuse to race. They would just pack up and go home. It's a shame because Miami is such a nice city and I'm sure they could build a decent circuit here."

Salo called the bump on entry to the final hairpin turn "a ski jump", something that Newman/Haas team-mates Bruno Junqueira and Sebastien Bourdais did not dispute.

"I told the engineers that if we do 130 laps here we'll have to throw the tub in the garbage because for sure it's going to be cracked," said Junqueira. "It's basically the same track but all the corners are a little different. Only two corners are the same as last year - the fountain and the left-hander after the fountain. But if they don't do anything about the bump in the last turn, a lot of people are going to crash.

"The track is tight and difficult, but it's much, much better than last year. At least we got rid of that 30 mph stretch through the parking lot. If they can improve the huge bump in the last corner it would be a good step forward. That's the biggest bump in the championship."

shares
comments
Qualifying 1: Junqueira takes pole
Previous article

Qualifying 1: Junqueira takes pole

Next article

Qualifying 2: Fernandez steals pole

Qualifying 2: Fernandez steals pole
Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return Plus

Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return

The iconic Lola name is being relaunched after it was taken over by new ownership. Part of that reboot is a planned return to racing, though the exact details of this are still to be finalised - though its new owner does have a desire to bring the brand back to the Le Mans 24 Hours. But romanticism doesn't appear to be the driving force behind this renewed project...

General
Jul 14, 2022
Rating the best drivers of the century so far Plus

Rating the best drivers of the century so far

Autosport's Top 50 feature has been a staple of the magazine for the past two decades since its first appearance in 2002. Here are the drivers that have featured most prevalently during that time

General
Jan 7, 2022
The best motorsport moments of 2021 Plus

The best motorsport moments of 2021

Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Autosport has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates

General
Dec 31, 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers Plus

The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers

Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back

General
Dec 26, 2021
The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes Plus

The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes

It’s rarely mentioned when it comes to assessing the best national contests, but the Brazilian Stock Car series that reaches its climax this weekend has an ever-growing appeal. Its expanding roster of ex-Formula 1 names has helped to draw in new fans, but it's the closeness of competition that keeps them watching

General
Dec 10, 2021
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021
The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan Plus

The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan

Having had the door to F1 slammed in his face and come within three laps of winning the Indianapolis 500, the collapse of a Peugeot LMP1 shot meant Japan was Bertrand Baguette's last chance of a career. But it's one which he has grasped with both hands

General
Feb 27, 2021