Formula 1 has announced that the Miami Grand Prix will join the calendar in 2022. Plans for a race in Miami were first made public in April 2017. We take a look at the long road F1 faced in securing the deal.
To trace F1’s plans for a Miami Grand Prix back to the starting point, you have to go back to September 2016, when it is announced that US-based media firm Liberty Media is to purchase the sport, buying CVC Capital’s stake in the business. The deal is completed in late January 2017.
New F1 chairman Chase Carey says that F1 targets races in “destination cities”, name-checking Miami, along with New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Carey adds that Liberty Media’s top priority is to secure a second race in America, to complement the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the The Americas.
November 22, 2017
Liberty Media take their plans one step further in November 2017, trademarking three new Grand Prix titles. In addition to the “New York Grand Prix” and “Las Vegas Grand Prix”, the “Miami Grand Prix” is one of the event titles trademarked.
Soon after, the Miami Herald reports that Formula 1 is actively searching a site for the Miami Grand Prix. One of the options explored was a route which incorporated racing through the Port Miami Tunnel – though it is understood that this was quickly deemed unviable.
Auto, Motor und Sport, reports that “negotiations between FOM and the promoters of the planned street races in Florida and Vietnam are expected to reach a positive conclusion”, and that the Miami Grand Prix could take place as soon as the 2019 season.
May 4, 2018
The first images of a proposed circuit in the Biscayne Boulevard area of Miami are revealed. The track runs around the American Airlines Arena and has two long straights, passing over a bridge along Port Boulevard.
Miami Grand Prix plans hit their first stumbling block and come under fire by local environmental groups, who raise concerns about the proposed location of the new circuit.
July 23, 2018
Formula 1’s Managing Director of Oporations, Sean Bratches, says there has been “significant progress” with plans for the Miami Grand Prix to take place. However, he adds that there are “complicated negotiations” and plans to hold the inaugural event in 2019 have been shelved. 2020 is the new target for the race to join the calendar.
The Miami City Commission is due to hold a vote on whether a contract for the Miami Grand Prix should be approved. The vote, however, is delayed and indefinitely deferred. There is now a six-month window in which the vote can take place.
October 20-21, 2018
Formula 1 hosts a Fan Festival on Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami to coincide with the United States Grand Prix weekend. Red Bull and Renault cars perform show runs, and the event is also attended by Emerson Fittipaldi – along with 80,000 fans.
March 28, 2019
The delayed vote is set to take place on March 28, 2019 – just inside the six month deferral period.
April 8, 2019
More than a week passes with no news on the outcome of the crucial vote. It emerges that the Miami City Commission has deferred the vote on hosting a Grand Prix to late May, jeopardising plans to host the inaugural Miami Grand Prix in 2020.
April 24, 2019
Efforts to secure a race in downtown Miami are scrapped, with organisers searching for a new location to hold the Grand Prix. It is suggested that land on and around the site of the Hard Rock Stadium could be an option.
Despite the setbacks, Chase Carey confirms talks are still ongoing regarding a Miami Grand Prix. He says that the parties are “making steps” forward in their discussions.
October 15, 2019
Positive news for the Miami Grand Prix as Formula 1 officially announces that an agreement in principle has been reached for the event to take place in 2021 around the Hard Rock Stadium. A statement reads that having a Grand Prix is an opportunity for the area to benefit financially, with an estimated $400 million boost to the local economy.
October 24, 2019
Later in October 2019, F1’s latest plans also come under fire from locals. A statement on the official Miami Grand Prix website reads: “Unfortunately, a neighborhood group is trying to block the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix.” Six County Commissioners vote against the race taking place, meaning that the proposed event once again looks in doubt.
October 30, 2019
Following the vote, Chase Carey admits that there are still “clear hurdles” before the Miami Grand Prix would be able to take place, with the most recent vote bringing “new issues” to overcome.
November 1, 2019
The Miami Grand Prix organisers call for action via their social media channels. Naming the six commissioners who voted against the race taking place, the official Twitter account of the Miami Grand Prix urges fans to email the politicians. The Miami Grand Prix website even supplies a pre-written letter for fans to make their voice heard.
November 11, 2019
The mayor of Miami-Dade County vetos a resolution to block races taking place on public roads in the area. The latest track design incorporates a half-mile section of 199th Street. The mayor’s veto buys race organisers more time to attempt to get locals on side.
January 21, 2020
Organisers of the Miami Grand Prix announce a number of changes to their plans following feedback from local residents. The new track configuration still utilises the area around Hard Rock Stadium, but now will not use 199th Street in order to avoid traffic disruption. It was also agreed that no on-track action would take place before 3pm on the Friday of the Grand Prix weekend, to ensure there is no disruption to local schools.
February 20, 2020
The latest crucial vote results in a 6-6 tie, meaning that a circuit can be built on the site of the Hard Rock Stadium.
February 24, 2020
Despite the latest hurdle being cleared, Chase Carey admits that the original timeline for the Miami Grand Prix may have been too optimistic. He tells German media that a second race in the United States may yet be five to ten years away.
Sources claim that, despite delays brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, the Miami Grand Prix will “definitely” debut in 2022.
October 31, 2020
A complaint is filed by residents of Miami Gardens, seeking a permanent injunction to prevent Formula 1 visiting Miami. Residents also accuse the mayor of racial discrimination, with activist Betty Ferguson saying in a statement: “To try to foist this race into our community, without almost any input from residents who would be affected, is not only outrageous, but disrespectful to a predominantly African-American community”.
November 10, 2020
Formula 1 unveils its 23-race 2021 calendar, but the Miami Grand Prix does not feature on the schedule.
New Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali says that plans for a race in Miami have not been ruled out and both F1 and the race promoter have “big interest to be there”.
April 14, 2021
Positive news emerges from Miami, where a meeting is held to agree upon a Memorandum of Understanding. Further refining streets which the circuit cannot use and other key issues, commissioners approved the plans, giving the final green light for the event to become a reality.
April 18, 2021
Four years after first publicly naming Miami as a place of interest for Formula 1 to visit, it is confirmed that the inaugural Miami Grand Prix will take place in 2022.