Plans Progressing for a Miami Grand Prix


There have been a few instances in the past where countries have been allowed to host more than one Formula 1 Grand Prix in a single year.

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Recent examples have been the multiple countries that have hosted the oddly named “European Grand Prix”, despite the majority of the season taking place on the continent. Germany, for example, hosted both the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim and the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. More recently, Spain got the privilege of hosting the European Grand Prix on the street circuit in Valencia, while the Spanish Grand Prix took place in Catalunya.

The legendary 1993 European Grand Prix that saw Ayrton Senna win in the torrential rain was held at Donnington Park in England, while Silverstone continued to host the British Grand Prix.

A slightly more quirky example of a country hosting two races is the case of Italy. The legendary Monza circuit, famous for its high speeds and seas of passionate Ferrari fans hosted (and still hosts) the Italian Grand Prix, while the San Marino Grand Prix was held at the Imola race circuit. This, despite Imola actually being in the Italian city of Bologna.

One other country that has hosted multiple Grands Prix in a single year is the United States. Perhaps there is a stronger case for holding multiple races across the pond since the United States is considerably bigger than any country in Western Europe. Therefore, it is reasonable to consider hosting two races, perhaps one on the East Coast, and one on the West.

Formula 1 has had a difficult relationship with the United States and has never been able to settle on a long term home. Unlike other parts of the world, America is a country with its own motorsport history and heritage and a very established set of sports leagues that make it difficult to compete for the attention of fans.

Some of the biggest sports in the United States include basketball, baseball, American football, and hockey. Evidence of this can be seen in the types of sports that US bookmakers will accept bets on, for example in hockey some sites like Fox Bet offer a wide range of pre-match and propositional wagers

The Western Race

Covering the western half of the country, the United States Grand Prix currently takes place at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. The race has been well received since the first event was held there in 2012, thanks to its purpose-built circuit that promotes overtaking and the other events that get put on at the circuit during the race weekend.

Racing in the East

Hosting a race in the eastern half of the United States has been talked about for some years, with former Formula 1 Supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, talking about a race around the streets of New York. The sport’s current owners, Liberty Media, are also discussing the idea of a race in the Big Apple amongst other ideas.

Miami, Florida is another place being considered to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix. An agreement in principle has been reached by the sport and the Miami Dolphins NFL team to host a race at the Hard Rock Stadium, with the first race taking place in 2021. Unlike the Mexican Grand Prix, which has a stadium section that the cars drive through, the proposals for the Miami race will see the cars travelling around the Hard Rock Stadium. This will likely make the event similar to the Caesar’s Palace Grand Prix that took place in the Las Vegas casino’s car park in 1981 and 82.

Although the race is projected to provide $400m of cash for the local economy and fill 35,000 hotel room nights, locals are not too keen on the idea. Nearby residents have raised concerns about the additional traffic, noise and pollution that will be created by the Formula 1 circus and it seems that local politicians are supporting them.

A vote is set to take place on the plans before the end of the year and, if rejected, will be the second rejection in recent years. Previous plans for a race around the Miami port are were rejected. This would have seen cars race over a bridge to the port, but the plans were scrapped after local businesses raised concerns about the disruption the race would cause to their businesses.

Formula 1’s new owners are determined to make an impact on the US. It is a major market with a huge population, but its native motorsport series like NASCAR and Indycar make it difficult for Formula 1.

Incidents like the 2005 Indianapolis Grand Prix also make it harder for the sport to pick up a large following, however, the Circuit of the Americas appears to be standing strong as a quality venue that can draw a sizeable crowd.

It is likely we will see a second US Grand Prix in the coming years, but at present, it seems somewhat unlikely that it will get the go-ahead in Miami.

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