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Miami F1 GP circuit guide
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Miami F1 GP circuit guide

Miami F1 GP circuit guide

F1 News

Miami F1 GP circuit guide

Miami F1 GP circuit guide

F1 is set for a stunning weekend in the Miami heat when the drivers hit the Miami International Autodrome for the first time.

The sport is aiming to capitalise on rapid growth in United States-based spectatorship in recent years by adding a second American race alongside the existing event at the Circuit of the Americas, which boasted record-breaking crowds last year.

Before track action gets underway, GPFans takes a look at F1's newest venue.

The circuit

There has been plenty of scepticism over the addition of what is essentially another street track. But this is a street track only by name.

The facility is purpose-built and is a hybrid circuit, meaning some parts will stay and others will be able to be removed once the event has concluded.

It has to be said, on first viewing of the track, it seems we are in store for a lot of fun across the weekend.

The first corner is a right-hand hairpin which has an apex spanning just past a 90-degree angle.

Drivers will shift through the gears through the left-hand sweep that is turn two and the long right-hander at turn three before the track opens out.

Turn four arrives in a flash, with cars decelerating briefly with a mid-corner downshift, posing the balance of the machines before jolting to the right on-throttle for turn five in a section that is Jeddah-esque.

Turn six takes drivers back left, flat-out and a second apex at turn seven remains at full speed before brakes are applied for the third and final left-hand apex at turn eight.

The longest flat-out section - and first DRS zone - follows down what can only be described as a 'winding-straight', through turns nine and 10 that are virtually non-existent, a hark bark to the Valencia Street Circuit.

At the end of the 'straight' is a left-hand hairpin at turn 11. This leads into a double-apex right-hander at turn 12 to begin the technical section of the circuit.

The walls close in as drivers face quick changes of direction through the undulations of turns 13, 14 and 15 before turn 16 quickly points cars towards the second DRS zone and a traditional straight.

Turn 17 is a left-hand hairpin with a heavy braking zone, with two flat-out kinks at turns 18 and 19 leading onto the pit straight and the final DRS zone.

Set-up will be the key to success here given the differences in flat-out and technical sections.

What lap times can we expect?

Obviously, there are no previous records for the Miami International Autodrome so there is a small bit of guesswork to go by here.

F1 has released a hot lap of the circuit from the new 'F1 22' video game which clocks in at around one minute 30 seconds.

In the real world, however, by the time rubber is laid ahead of qualifying, we would expect times in the ballpark of 1:27s, give or take a second either way.

It is clear the most lap time gained will be in the corners, especially the twisty end to the middle sector.

Who will be fast?

Without stating the obvious, Red Bull and Ferrari.

Red Bull's form in Saudi Arabia, where Sergio Perez claimed pole and Max Verstappen the race win, would point to a follow-up performance here.

The cars have evolved since then and championship leader Charles Leclerc will have something to say about this.

If using Jeddah as a comparison rings true, then Mercedes could face trouble given Lewis Hamilton's qualifying struggles in round two, although George Russell has finished in the top five at each of the opening four races thus far.

The midfield looks to be a toss-up at this moment in time and the order will ultimately be decided by a mix of driver skill, set-up and potential upgrades.

One man to look out for is Fernando Alonso, who has been in scintillating form as of late even if his Alpine has been unable to bear the load.

Where can we see overtaking?

Turn one will be the first opportunity, with DRS assistance no doubt a contributing factor.

The new generation of F1 cars may allow drivers an opportunist dive at turn eight, but likely only if the leading driver errs through turns five, six or seven.

The DRS assistance into turn 11 should give another opportunity, whilst the last obvious place to overtake is into turn 17, within the heavy braking moment.

A move anywhere else would be extremely brave indeed.

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