F1: The Miami City Commission Approved GP Racing Beginning in 2019
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An F1 race in Miami, Florida is a step closer to happening, as Thursday the Miami City Commission approved plans for an F1 deal that would start in Y 2019 and last to Y 2028, what is left is the City manager now has to formalize the agreement with Liberty Media (NASDAQ:LMCA) the Motorsport’s owner
The plan for now is that the 1st Miami Grand Prix street race will happen in October 2019, around the same time that the US Grand Prix has been run at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas for the past few years, but the race still has to go through a few more approvals before it’s official.
The City Commission set a 1 July deadline for the formalized agreement between the Miami City Manager and F1, and that agreement then has to go back to the commission for approval.
Miami has been an option for another US race date since American company Liberty Media bought F1 in Y 2016, along with Las Vegas and New York.
Reports came out at the end of April that F1 and Miami were moving closer to a deal for a Grand Prix event and that Miami may replace Baku, Azerbaijan on the schedule.
Azerbaijan has a deal with F1 through Y 2020, it was reported that its organizers plan to go through Y 2020 and could try to extend their deal.
A proposed track map for the Miami race came out a few days after the original reports, complete with 2 long straightaways over water and so many 90-degree turns that it looked like cars would have to yield to oncoming traffic during the race.
The race will likely happen in the south of the city, the Biscayne Bay area. City Councillor Ken Russell shared a view of the proposed layout on Twitter that runs around the American Airlines Arena, home of the NBA’s Miami Heat, and past the city’s Freedom Tower, before going across the harbor and doubling back toward Downtown.
F1 commercial Boss Sean Bratches said: “With the unanimous votes at both the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County’s Economic Development and Tourism Committee, we are very pleased to have received preliminary approval towards bringing a Formula One Grand Prix to Miami. We recognize that this is only the start of the process and we will immediately get to work with the various community stakeholders, the City of Miami, the Port of Miami, Bayfront Park Management Trust and others, in order to reach a final agreement. Formula One in Miami represents a fantastic opportunity to bring the greatest racing spectacle on the planet to one of the world’s most iconic cities, and we are delighted that the journey is underway.”
F1 has not yet announced a calendar of races for Y 2019, but the plans put in front of the Commission were for a race in October. It is not yet clear if other existing races will fall off the calendar next year, but the contracts for Hockenheim (G), Spa-Francorchamps (B) and Suzuka (J) are all set to expire at the end of the year.
A race in Hanoi, Vietnam is rumored, although Y 2020 now seems more likely than Y 2019, and F1 sponsor Heineken held a demonstration run with Red Bull Racing in Ho Chi Minh City last weekend.