Layout of the Miami Grand Prix circuit: A new surface and a redesigned chicane

Each Formula 1 race has its own identity. And many circuits have their “thing” – a widely known feature that you won’t find anywhere else.

Monaco is known for the Nouvelle Chicane, turns 10 and 11 just opposite the harbour, while Spa features Eau Rouge, one of F1’s most notorious corners. Then the fans come to Miami, which is in stark contrast to the Americanism of the Circuit of the Americas from Austin, but still embodies the United States

During the initial development of this GP, race organizers hoped to run the track in downtown Miami, an oceanside answer to Monaco’s famous layout. That didn’t work out, so we built a track around Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins. But the construction of the Miami International Speedway ten miles from South Beach hasn’t stopped race organizers from importing pieces of color that provide that “Miami feel.”

And so we have the fake marina.

“For us, we’ve been very committed to the Miami brand from the start, and we’re going to take the Formula 1 platform,” Epp said, “and we’re going to create Miami as the goal that people are for. watch the race.

Of course, the drivers have a lot to focus on, as well as the start of the second Miami GP. Here’s everything you need to know about the first US circuit on the 2023 calendar.

Points of interest

Miami’s temporary track was selected from more than 30 layouts submitted, but received mixed reviews in its inaugural season last year. Most drivers were critical of the track surface and some were unimpressed with various points. This year’s temporary circuit has the same layout this season, with just a few tweaks here and there, including some much-needed resurfacing.

Here are some key points for fans to keep an eye out for.

A. 13 to 16 years old

Daniel Ricciardo described this chicane as “a little too Mickey Mouse” last season, which tells you all there is to know about it. It’s slow and narrow as cars spin under the turnpike. (Regulations impose a speed limit around overhead features, which is why the chicane is there.)

B. Rotate 16 to 17

At the end of the long straight, drivers face another prime overtaking spot with the tight left-hander of Turn 17, which is right next to the Dolphins practice grounds. It’s essential to remember that there were only 45 overtakes during last year’s Miami Grand Prix – hoping for more in 2023.

C. Round 11

This is a braking zone before hitting the throttle in turn 12. The left turn is poised to be a good overtaking point and a potential litmus test for a problem that sucks in oxygen before this race: how overtaking is possible at the moment. It was a major sore point during last week’s Azerbaijan GP, ​​and some riders have noted that it’s been harder to keep up with competitors this year, which lessens the usefulness of DRS.

D. 6-7-8 turns

This footage is right in front of the MIA marina (aka fake marina, which for this year has real water). Pierre Gasly, who describes himself as “the type of guy who loves Miami”, said he enjoyed the fast-paced nature of this streak.

But that part came into the spotlight in 2022 when Gasly and Lando Norris collided as the Frenchman circled the outside of the McLaren at Turn 8. It ended their two races as Norris spun and that Gasly retired a few laps later.

Changes for 2023

The track has been resurfaced after drivers criticized it last year for providing poor grip and even breaking at points. Sergio Pérez called the box a ‘joke’; Fernando Alonso called it “non-standard F1”. Miami Grand Prix President Tyler Epp said they “really leaned on our partners at Tilke to make sure we do it right.”

On the lighter side, the fake marina now includes a few pools – with real water.

Additionally, some safety tweaks have been made after conversations with the Drivers’ Council, F1 and the FIA, particularly around Turns 13-16, which take drivers under the toll road. This is where Carlos Sainz and Esteban Ocon crashed during training sessions last year, each hitting a section of wall that was not protected by the force-absorbing Tecpro barriers. After hitting the concrete with 51G of force, Ocon called the setup “unacceptable”.

For this year, the track features a rumble strip on the left for Turn 14, and the top of Turn 15 is stretched out a bit, which should help drivers navigate the section.

DRS deduction

As in Baku last week, two DRS zones have been shortened in Miami. The drivers don’t seem to understand why, especially given the low number of overtakes in last year’s race.

“I don’t think we all really understood why they were shortened. None of us were consulted about it or asked for our opinion on it, and I think the race speaks for itself in Baku,” said Mercedes’ George Russell. “The DRS is there to make overtaking easier, and it’s always exciting to have those big DRS advantages, and it gives you the opportunity to fight, and clearly in Baku it was way too short.”

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc agreed. “I think with the cars we have at the moment it’s still quite difficult to follow,” he said. “Hopefully in future races we don’t shorten them.”

McLaren’s Logan Sargeant noted that in Baku he was stuck behind Zhou Guanyu for about 30 laps, and “there were a few times that if that extra 100 meters he was shortened from would have been there, I could have gone for a move. So yeah, I think it’s the wrong direction.

We’ll have to wait until Sunday’s GP to get a good read on how the changes are unfolding.

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