Ranking of the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix 2022

Enthusiasm for F1 within the Japanese automaker therefore remains high and it continues to tout its relationships with Red Bull and Alpha Tauri. That’s why he invited us to attend the Miami F1 GP as one of his guests, and with the race now over, it’s time to hand in our marks for an event the sport and its fans have been waiting for. impatiently.

The climate

It’s unfair to credit or blame race organizers for the weather, but speaking of “hot”, the 2022 Miami F1 Grand Prix was scorching. The ambient temperature hovered in the low to mid-90s all weekend, with the humidity index exceeding 50%. A brief, light rain shower an hour before the start of the race teased participants with potential relief, but more precipitation never arrived.

On the other hand, a torrential downpour is also not ideal for comfort. We would have liked to see a lot more misters and blown air fans on the pitch to keep spectators cool, and we’ve heard reports of a lack of water in some toilets and water points. From what we’ve seen overall, though, there doesn’t seem to be a widespread challenge when it comes to securing lots of cold drinks.

Hard Rock Stadium and Miami International Autodrome

Talk about an impressive site to see, especially for the first outing of the F1 Miami GP.

Built on the grounds of the Miami Dolphin’s Hard Rock Stadium, the Miami International Autodrome complex delivered an almost entirely temporary site that looked very much like a permanent racing facility. Much of it is normally used as parking, but you’d never know that if you hadn’t noticed the parking lines painted on some of the asphalt you walked on as you explored the terrain. It was an example of how modern racing promoters, architects and engineers can create an FIA Grade 1 racing circuit virtually from scratch. It was a middle finger in history and the infamous Caesar’s Palace car park Grand Prix held in Las Vegas in the early 80s, widely regarded as one of the most abysmal F1 circuits in all the time.

There were 11 separate grandstands and the number of team and sponsor supported hospitality areas (accessible if you got your hands on the proper tickets) was staggering. The latter, however, are prohibitively expensive for average and even above-average people, with costs per ticket running into the thousands. Even “regular” grandstand tickets were expensive, with the cheapest costing $640. Pro tip: “Campus Pass” general admission tickets — $300 for Friday practice and up to $500 for the race, or $1,200 for all three days — might be some of the best tickets to general admission to all professional sports. There are many open and accessible vantage points around the circuit from which we would have been very happy to watch the whole race. Views from the spiraling pedestrian ramps at Hard Rock Stadium were excellent.

Our biggest complaint about the overall experience is that the Miami Autodrome staff, while universally and exceptionally courteous and friendly, simply hadn’t received enough training prior to the event on the location of the various locations in the facility, and the maps displayed around the terrain were sometimes only useful up to a point.

At an event like this, you’d just like to ask someone wearing a “staff” shirt how you can best reach your destination, but too often we’ve been answered with questioning looks and, “Hmmm, I am not sure.” In an unintentional comedy moment on Friday, we circled around for 45 minutes, asking at least half a dozen employees, “Where’s the media center?” before finding someone who knew where the correct entrance to the paddock was.

The crowd

call it him Drive to survive effect, complemented by the fact that F1 is in the midst of its most competitive and engaging era in decades: the crowd of around 85,000 at the Miami GP was as excited and enthusiastic as any crowd we have ever seen in a car race. If any doubts remained about F1’s popularity – and virtually overnight – in the US, they disintegrated and more.

This mass of humanity applauded and roars for the smallest of reasons, from cars just rolling out of the pit lane to drivers crossing on Friday and Saturday practice. A car that dives into the pits? Roar. The same car coming out of its pit after a routine stop? Roar. A driver who slightly applies his brakes in a bend? Roar. Red Bull’s Mexican driver and local favorite Sergio “Checo” Perez gains some time over Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in the final laps of the race? Roarcombined with chants of “Olé, Olé, Olé, Checo, Checo!”

It was obvious that many fans are new to the sport and still have a long way to go before they understand the more obscure and complex nuances of F1. But if that level of enthusiasm for GP racing and the corresponding willingness to shell out big bucks for the privilege of attending existed in this country back when Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosted the United States Grand Prix , the Brickyard would not have lost its place on the F1 Calendar after the 2007 race.

Meanwhile, in terms of celebrity spotting, sports and pop culture fans have been wowed by a massive list including names like Michael Jordan (who earlier in the week had dinner with impressed Alpha Tauri pilot Pierre Gasly, leaving Gasly’s teammate Yuki Tsunoda to jokingly lament that he wasn’t invited), Tom Brady, Dwayne Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union, Serena and Venus Williams, David Beckham, Tommy Hilfiger, George Lucas, Bad Bunny, Karlie Kloss, Michael Strahan, Ashton Kutcher, and more.

The track and the race

Heading into the weekend, the 3.36-mile, 19-turn circuit was expected to have the potential to deliver an exciting race. But the 2022 Miami F1 Grand Prix was a mixed bag.

After the first practice sessions, several drivers complained about a lack of off-line grip, in particular McLaren’s Lando Norris and Perez, the latter saying he felt the surface was wet when he got on. ventured off the ideal racing line where the cars had deposited rubber. Mercedes-AMG Petronas driver George Russell called the track “garbage” in places in comments ahead of Sunday’s race. Norris and seven-time Mercedes champion Lewis Hamilton have also complained of unexpected bumps, exacerbated by the “porpoising” effect inherent in this year’s F1 cars. As a result, they predicted that the situation would be bad for pilots running and crossing, despite having three DRS zones.

The 57-lap race started with Leclerc’s Ferrari on pole ahead of team-mate Carlos Sainz in second and Verstappen in third. But Verstappen rounded Sainz on the outside of Turn 1 (so much for zero grip), and during the early stages it looked like it might stay that way for quite a while. Instead, Verstappen chased the leading Ferrari, passing Leclerc on lap nine. There were a few more overtakes and a few knocks in midfield, but overall and as one F1 insider texted us halfway through the race, “It’s a snoozefest.”

That all changed on lap 40, when a collision when Gasly picked up Norris and tore the McLaren driver’s car apart, ripping off one of its tires and knocking out the safety car. The race resumed with 10 laps to go, Verstappen moving ahead of Leclerc, Sainz and Perez, with the second-placed Red Bull now retaining the fresh tire advantage after a late pit stop. The Mexican at one point used his Honda power to race the Ferrari, pulling his car on the inside into Turn 1, but he locked up his right front tire and ran wide, ending his challenge .

For a few more laps Leclerc stayed in Verstappen’s DRS range, threatening that a potential attack could occur and giving the final laps some tension. Ultimately, however, he backed off, giving Verstappen his third win and his second in a row in a young season with 18 races remaining. Thanks to scoring an extra point for setting the fastest lap of the race, Verstappen reduced his gap to Leclerc to 19 points, 104-85. If it hadn’t been for the safety car period , however, the race seemed likely to deliver little drama for much of its remoteness.

Final Thoughts

The 2022 Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix was an absolute success overall: off track, on track and, key to its long-term prospects, financially. Well, at least it seemed like a financial success: Dolphins CEO and Miami GP boss Tom Garfinkel said his company wouldn’t make any money on that first race, but that’s typical in this wild game of F1 hosting when organizers have to spend tens or even hundreds of millions up front to put it all together. The thing is, at these ticket prices and near instantaneous sale, and the general reaction of paying fans to the product they received, the proof of concept is there. Garfinkel said to check back with him after the second year, and early signs indicate the Miami GP is viable for the duration of his 10-year F1 contract.

As for the handful of things that need improvement, most of them should be relatively easy fixes for this management team and their deep experience when it comes to organizing large-scale shows and create positive experiences for fans. Improving the track somewhat might prove more difficult, and we don’t yet know what it will cost or if it is reasonably possible to eliminate the bumps or if the level of grip on the track goes up a notch or three with a little time. But the race was definitely not evil, and some drivers also felt that the silly and tedious chicane that includes turns 14 and 15 should be removed in order to potentially improve the show, or at least the flow of the circuit. They are correct, as usual.

Anyway, after getting a taste of the weekend that just ended, we are already planning to return for the 2023 edition. Bravo, Miami. It was very fun.


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