Miami Makes It’s Formula One Bow

F1 Grand Prix Of Saudi Arabia Practice Red Bull Racing Sergio Perez

Miami hosts its first-ever Formula 1 Grand Prix this weekend, as America adds to the long list of F1 venues.

It is round five of the 2022 Formula One World Championship.

The Miami International Autrodrome, set in Miami Gardens, will wind its way around the Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins NFL team.

Miami is the 10th destination in the US to stage a Grand Prix event and will be the first in the state of Florida since 1959 at Sebring International Raceway.

Miami Grand Prix Managing Partner, Tom Garfinkel, described it as an “honour” and “a dream come true” to be bringing Formula One to the city.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc leads the championship by 27-points, from defending champion Max Verstappen.

Miami International Autodrome

A brand new 5.412km circuit awaits the teams, made up of 19 corners, of which 12 are left-handers and nine right-handers.

The teams are predicting 72% of each lap will be spent at full throttle, with two very long straights, combined with some fast, flowing sections.

There is also a tight and twisty, Monaco style sequence, from turn 11 to turn 16.

The combination of high speed and low speed corners, with not much in between, presents a setup conundrum for the teams, where they must weigh up which section of track gains the most lap time.

There will be three DRS zones, one from between turns 9 and 10 running to turn 11, a second from halfway down the back straight, between turns 16 and 17.

The third and final DRS zone will be on the pit straight, which is short but could offer an opportunity into the opening corner.

As the track rubbers in and improves its grip levels, the qualifying lap times could be in the one-minute 28s, with a potential average lap speed of over 220km/h.

Two Teams at the Top

Ferrari and Red Bull, with their drivers Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen, have shared the opening four races equally between them.

Verstappen and Red Bull come to Miami, fresh off the back of an “away win” in Imola, where the Tifosi were out in force to support Ferrari.

The Dutchman, who won the last race in the USA, said he is ready for a “crazy weekend” ahead.

The 24-year-old has won every race he has reached the chequered flag in, winning both the Grand Prix and Sprint race in Italy.

Red Bull will be confident too that their Mexican driver Sergio Perez will perform well in Miami.

The two-time race winner finished second in Imola and generally goes well at street tracks, his win for Red Bull in 2021 coming in Baku.

Championship leader Charles Leclerc had a difficult race day, spending much of the race behind Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull, before an error saw him spin off and finish in sixth place.

The Monegasque will take comfort from the fact that he has been driving well and that his F1-75 Ferrari has been fast and reliable at all four locations so far in 2022.

Leclerc had finished first or second in every competitive session, until the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, something he will very much aim to return to this weekend.

As for his Ferrari teammate, Carlos Sainz, he has failed to finish both of the last two races, having started the year with two podiums.

The 27-year-old, who is yet to win in F1, will be highly motivated to find an advantage over his rivals this weekend, to throw his cap into the ring for title glory.

Any further faltering from the Spaniard’s side of the garage, could quickly see him cast as the support act to Leclerc’s title tilt.

Can Mercedes Make It Three?

World champions Mercedes-Benz have had, what team boss Toto Wolff describes as a “difficult” start to 2022, with their W13 beset by major, and well-publicised, porpoising issues.

In the aftermath of his 13th place finish at Imola, Lewis Hamilton declared himself as “out of the championship”, but there could be light at the end of the tunnel for Hamilton and teammate George Russell.

Wolff said: “Since we returned from Italy, we’ve learned as much from the weekend as we can and, in parallel, our learning has continued in the wind tunnel and simulations.

We have found several directions for improving the car, and we will be conducting experiments in Miami to correlate those simulations, and hopefully confirm the development path for the coming races.”

If these experiments are a success, could Mercedes yet launch a bid to contend with Ferrari and Red Bull at the front?

And if they do, which driver will be able to make the most from it?

While that seems an obvious answer, given seven-time champion Hamilton is in their car, Russell has been performing very well in 2022.

The 24-year-old is the only driver to have scored a top five finish at each round so far.

Both Silver Arrows drivers have a third place this season as their best result and an improved package from Brackley, could see that partnership grow in intensity.

Are the Drivers excited to be in Miami?

The drivers, on the whole, are looking forward to this weekend’s Grand Prix.

For Williams owners, Dorilton Capital, it is a home race. Their drivers Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi described the circuit as “very technical” and “an interesting challenge”.

Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly said he had completed “about 130 laps” in the simulator, going on to call the circuit “a fun track to drive, with high-speed corners and some sections that a very slow and technical.”

His Japanese teammate, Yuki Tsunoda, labelled sector three “a Formula E sector with a lot of tight corners.”

The 21-year-old added: “I think overall, it will be an interesting track to drive.”

Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas was also praising the design of the circuit, saying there are “good overtaking opportunities and potential for some fun racing.”

The Alpine pair of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon gave their opinion on F1 in America, with the Spaniard saying: “I enjoy racing in America and we’ve seen in recent years how big Formula 1 is becoming (in America).”

Ocon added: It seems we have been talking about Miami for years! And it is finally here, which is very exciting for everyone involved in the sport. Formula 1 has grown so much in the United States and Miami is such an iconic city. I can’t wait to get going!”

Weather Forecast

Miami is well known for being bathed in glorious sunshine and the forecast is such for Friday and Saturday running, with highs of 30°c for practice and 32°c for qualifying.

Teams will certainly want to evaluate how well the C4 Pirelli tyre holds up over a single lap in the heat of Miami Gardens.

For more information on the tyre allocations for the Miami Grand Prix, find everything you need to know in this article:

It’s not all sunshine predicted for the weekend however, as rain is anticipated on Sunday, with suggesting afternoon showers and possible thunderstorms.

The variable of rain, on a new circuit, that is as fast and narrow as the Miami International Autrodome, is something the teams would likely much rather avoid.

When are the Miami Grand Prix sessions?

Here are all the session times you need to make sure you don’t miss a single turn of an F1 wheel and stay up to speed with all the action in Miami.

These session times were kindly provided by Mercedes AMG F1 Team.

Session Local Time (EDT) London (BST) Europe (CEST)
FP1 14:30 – 15:30 19:30 – 20:30 20:30 – 21:30
FP2 17:30 – 18:30 22:30 – 23:30 23:30 – 00:30
FP3 13:00 – 14:00 18:00 – 19:00 19:00 – 20:00
Qualifying 16:00 – 17:00 21:00 – 22:00 22:00 – 23:00
Grand Prix 15:30 – 17:30 20:30 – 22:30 21:30 – 23:30

What are the 2022 Miami Grand Prix odds?

After his emphatic victory last time out at Imola, Max Verstappen heads to Miami as the favourite to take home another win this weekend.

• Max Verstappen 2.00
• Charles Leclerc 2.25
• Carlos Sainz 13.0
• Sergio Perez 15.0
• Lando Norris 34.0
• Daniel Ricciardo, George Russell, Lewis Hamilton 67.0
• Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso, Valtteri Bottas 151
• Kevin Magnussen, Pierre Gasly 301
• Mick Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, Yuki Tsunoda, Zhou Guanyu 601
• Alexander Albon, Lance Stroll, Nicholas Latifi 901

If you want to bet on F1, by using our code JOIN125 you will receive a 125% sign up bonus when you join BetUS.

For more build up to the first ever Miami Grand Prix, listen to the Formula 1 Grid Talk Podcast, where Ruby Price hosts a discussion looking ahead to this weekend’s action.


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