Miami welcomes Formula 1

View of the Miami street circuit. / afp

World Cup 2022

The premiere of the Florida circuit, whose layout is located around the Hard Rock Stadium of the Miami Dolphins, will measure the ability of the pilots in a new urban race

One of the goals that Liberty Media set for itself when it took over the reins of Formula 1 was to remove the smell of mothballs that the competition had. It is no coincidence that since its arrival years ago, both the use of social networks and the popular expansion of the sport have had a clear focus from the beginning: the United States. It is this philosophy that is behind the debut of a circuit created 'ad hoc' for the premiere of Miami as a city that hosts a Formula 1 race.

After discarding a first idea that was going to go through the bay of the popular (and very expensive) city in the southeast of the state of Florida, including two planned straight lines over a showy bridge, the Miami Gardens area has been taken over by trucks, motorhomes and hundreds of people traveling to each grand prix. With the Hard Rock Stadium, home of the legendary American football Miami Dolphins, as the epicenter, the most famous automobile competition in the world will play here the first of the two races planned in the United States this year. The other will be in Austin (Texas), already in the middle of autumn, which will be joined by Las Vegas in 2023 with an appointment that will take place on its famous Strip.

The Miami circuit will be semi-urban and a new attempt to have "a new Monaco", but with nuances. As was attempted in the failed Valencia, Korea or even Singapore, the latter still on the calendar, this event through the streets will try to become a modern classic at a critical moment for the competition, given that expansion is the primary objective that the promoters have. In addition, Miami is the perfect setting so that the new philosophy of exclusivity is not at odds with the objective of popularizing it: the concept of each GP being like a Super Bowl already sounds. The comparison is not accidental, given that this stadium has hosted the NFL final six times.

A circuit similar to Baku

If there is a current circuit to which the Miami layout can be compared, that is the one in Baku. Two good straights and a semi-straight that will host three DRS zones, 19 curves, very technical gradient changes and with two fast sectors and one slow one, in addition to three clear overtaking points with turn 11 as the main one. In short, a real challenge for the pilots.

These have already soaked up the American vibe. Since the days before they have been acting as ambassadors of their sport with countless publicity events (Lewis Hamilton played golf with Tom Brady, NFL legend, or Pierre Gasly chatted for a while with Michael Jordan himself), in addition to special decorations in the helmets that will be worn by many of the competitors. One of them will be Fernando Alonso, who after a start to the season full of bad luck wants to break his streak in the United States, a country in which he has always felt very comfortable.

It doesn't have much room. Two points is a poor booty after the first four rounds and, although he has welcomed the fact that the new technical regulations have made it possible to create cars that allow overtaking, Alonso still needs to have a round weekend. The Alpine A522 is a relatively competitive car, although it is two steps behind the Ferraris and the Red Bulls, but with that bit of luck that has eluded it, it might just make it. And if it is not here, it will be in Montmeló in two weeks: Alonso, like the popular tale of the king's ring, knows that this too shall pass and that if he falls it is to learn to get up. And again.

The other Spanish gaze will be on Carlos Sainz. The man from Madrid, who, as they have shared from Ferrari's social networks, vibrated like one more Madridista with his team's game in the Champions League, has two consecutive retirements and is not willing for this to become a lasting streak. With his partner Charles Leclerc still as a reference and maximum candidate for victory, despite the push of Max Verstappen after his grand prize of glory in Imola, the Spaniard will have no choice but to go on the attack if he wants to vindicate himself.

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