(Motorsport-Total.com) – The designers of the new Miami Formula 1 track were able to go “a little bit crazy” with the layout after a major public road disappeared from the original proposal.
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Miami has come up with a lot for Formula 1
In any case, the current layout is not the first to be run in Miami. At first, they had an eye on a race downtown, but because it could not turn into anything due to local protests, they switched around at the Hard Rock Stadium in the Miami Dolphins.
But even there, there were headwinds because the planning included 199th Street, which residents thought would have caused too much disruption. Therefore, these were simply omitted in the new proposal.
Instead of using the main road, the track facility at the current Turn 8 was narrowed. Turn 8 then leads over 1.4 kilometers towards turn 11, past the complex where the Miami Open tennis tournament was held until early April.
“We had to change a lot when 199th street was no longer an option,” says Clive Bowen, founder of Apex Circuit Design, which designed the course. “But it gave us an opportunity to go a little crazy. So instead of going through the western parking lot and into 199th Street, we made a slightly narrower turn and navigated around the western gondola station.”
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“Then we drive right through the Miami Open tennis complex, which, as you can imagine, made us a little unpopular,” Bowen said. “So we had to figure out how to do it technically, how to do the drainage, how to make the relationship between the courts, how to build the court before the Tennis Open itself could start.”
“After the end of the tennis tournament, we had to clean up their facilities very quickly and build them into the court.”
Inspiration from other routes
The track design is partly based on some existing tracks on the Formula 1 calendar. Bowen roughly compares turn 8 with the Beausset corner at Le Castellet and sees the high-speed section that follows towards Turn 11, which is similar to the last section at Baku.
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The stadium area after turn 11 should be reminiscent of Foro Sol in Mexico City. And the narrow section leading downhill from the harassment into turn 16 is also designed to penalize errors from drivers going too far, similar to the Wall of Champions in Montreal.
A short-term change was the removal of the curbs at turns 6 and 7 in response to Mick Schumacher’s crash in Saudi Arabia. “Instead, we have a flat curb that is painted so that it looks like a real curb, so we do not have the same problem if someone runs over it,” Bowen explains.
Track with a car concept in mind
He is also confident that the new cars will be able to follow each other well in the fast turns between 4 and 7. The Miami track is the first to be designed with the 2022 generation of vehicles in mind.
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“This section is really challenging for the car,” Bowen says. “With the previous generation of Formula 1 cars, it would also have caused the cars to pull apart. But with the ’22 generation, we have a ground effect and less turbulence over the chassis, which means the cars should be able to be followed closely.”
“We worked closely with Formula 1 and their technical staff to understand what the dynamics of these cars will be like, and we designed the track to take into account the expected ground effect,” Bowen emphasizes. “We hope the cars stay close together until the exit from Turn 8, and then they fight out until Turn 11.”