Is the Miami Grand Prix worth of keeping on the calendar?

Is the Miami Grand Prix worth of keeping on the calendar?

After the first two editions of the Miami Grand Prix, we asked ourselves a question: is it worth keeping it on the Formula 1 calendar? Here are our thoughts about the event after two years.

History

The history of this race is pretty short. The first proposal to add a race in Miami dates back to 2018, intending to officially put it on the calendar the year after. The initial idea was to build the track around Port Miami. However, due to complications, the plan was never executed. Then, the organizers presented another idea to build the circuit around the Hard Rock Stadium and host the race in 2021, but this time too, things didn't go according to plan. However, they did manage to get a deal for 2022, which was the first year in which Miami hosted a Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Analyzing the track

The circuit is located around the home of the NFL team the Miami Dolphins. It is built in a way that allows the cars to race without disturbing the residents. The first sector is fun, very technical, and projected to be similar to Silverstone’s or Suzuka’s corners sequence. Plus, it has a low-speed first corner, which allows overtakes. The second sector has a very long straight with a hard braking zone at the end which allows overtakes, but then has a tight series of corners of which the drivers are not fans. The third sector has a long straight at the end of which it's possible to overtake, and then, after turn 17, the lap restarts.

Overall, there are three overtaking zones, and last year the Grand Prix was decent, with around 45 overtakes, one of which was for the lead. However, despite a safety car and a few overtakes in the midfield, the 2022 Miami Grand Prix was not the most entertaining one.

It's more than just the race

The feeling with the Miami GP is similar to when the paddock visits Monte Carlo. Everything about that weekend is focused not only on the race, which is almost left in the background but more on the surroundings of the race. In the first two years, that's what we felt for Miami. The whole event is seen as a red carpet for many celebrities. Then, the actual show – the race – it's not that is forgotten, but it feels like that however the race is going to go… it doesn't really matter as long as the atmosphere around the paddock provides good vibes and content.

Of course, that is the opposite of what true Formula 1 fans want, but their wishes of entertaining races around historic or challenging tracks are nothing compared to business and money (at least in the last few years). Proof of that is the fact that Formula 1 is visiting even more frequently new tracks in rich countries at the expense of historic venues.

Despite that, though, if you're a fan of the NFL, or NBA, or are passionate about movie stars or music, you feel excited to see your favorite drivers and teams make great collabs with world-famous celebrities. Many sportspeople and actors or singers visited the event both in 2022 and 2023: Patrick Mahomes, David Beckham, Bad Bunny, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Michelle Obama, Vin Diesel, Tyreek Hill, and ASAP Rocky.

So, the event is actually entertaining and enjoyable to witness on social media. However, it would probably be better to put the same effort into producing great racing action by following Formula 1's real DNA, or simply by not shortening DRS zones at every race weekend.

2023 race thoughts

This year's race proved the previous points: the whole cornice of the weekend was surely great, but the Grand Prix didn't live up to the expectations. There were a few overtakes in the midfield and the top ten, but apart from that, it's not a secret that it was a boring race. Everyone probably guessed the final order after 15 laps or fewer, and there weren't many things to remember about the 2023 Miami GP.

Of course, the fault is not entirely on the track, because tires that last almost the entire race, fewer meters to use the DRS, and changes in the regulations that make it harder to follow each other closely do not help. However, there are surely better venues for Formula 1 to race on.

Final opinion

As mentioned before, if you follow other sports like NFL or NBA or are passionate about movies or music, it’s nice to see a mix of Formula 1 and those different worlds. On the other hand, the race itself has not been one of the most entertaining in the first two editions. Miami is not one of those classic circuits like Spa, Monza, or São Paulo, it’s still a street circuit that has struggled to provide memorable races so far unlike Jeddah or Baku for example.