Miami Track Details

This week we are in Miami, as F1 keeps on growing in America. Last years US Grand Prix saw a record breaking 400,000 crowd which was unseen before at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Miami is now the second US Grand Prix on the calendar, with there being a new addition next year, the Las Vegas Grand Prix making it a third US event.

The Miami International Autodrome, is a temporary circuit but one designed to have a permanent feel. It’s set in the Hard Rock Stadium complex in Miami Gardens, which is home to the NFL’s famous Miami Dolphins franchise.

The track is culmination of a development process that stimulated no less than 36 different layouts before settling on the final one.

What is the circuit like?

The 5.41km layout, will feature 19 corners, three straights and potentially three DRS zones and an estimated top speed of 320km/h. The race will be 57 laps.

There are also elevation changes too, the main one being found between Turns 13 and 16, with the track heading over an exit ramp and under various flyovers across uneven ground. Whereas Turn 14 – 15 chicane has an uphill approach with crest in the middle, and then drops down on exit.

One thing for sure, is that the track is going to be fast, as after Turn 1 there are a number of long sweeping corners that eventually loop round into a massive straight. There is expected that there will roughly be 3 main overtaking spots, but I’m sure we will see some drivers risking it in other places on the track.

There is a very high speed and high lateral g section from Turns 4-8 where cars will likely struggle to pass and where vehicle performance on the exit of Turn 8 is critical to laptime, followed by two fast power-limited corners at Turn 9 and 10 where it is credible to imagine side-by side racing. In Sector 3, where we have the low-speed and grade-changing Turns 14-16 beneath the Turnpike flyovers, it is intentionally a very challenging technical sequence. We have engineered ‘mistake generators’ in the form of grade – and grip – change on corner apexes that could result in changes of position and where a team might choose a set up that optimises low-speed traction over high-speed grip. We’re seeking to challenge the race engineers and their vehicle setups as much as possible. It’s notionally a street track with some really challenging corners, so you’d expect high downforce, but we have some really long straights and some high-speed corner sequences too that would favour a lower drag setup. There will definitely be a compromise here between downforce levels, and it’ll be interesting to see the top speed differentials between the teams. We want to see a big mix to make the racing as exciting as possible.

Apex Circuit Design, talking about the Miami Circuit.

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