Ocon sees Baku comparisons in Miami layout

Sam Cooper
Esteban Ocon on the grid at the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Imola, April 2022.

Esteban Ocon listens to his engineer on the grid for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Imola, April 2022.

Esteban Ocon says he believes the new Miami circuit resembles Baku in parts and also predicted an exciting race for the fans.

After years of speculation as well as legal troubles with local residents, the Miami Grand Prix is finally here as teams prepare themselves for a relative unknown with a new track on the calendar.

The Miami International Autodrome track wraps around the Hard Rock Stadium, home of NFL team the Miami Dolphins, to the north of the city and one driver looking forward to this weekend’s grand prix is Alpine’s Esteban Ocon.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Ocon said he could see similarities between the Miami track and the Azerbaijan Grand Prix circuit in Baku.

“It’s going to be exciting, there is a lot to discover for us,” the Frenchman said. “We had a great prep in the sim last week.

“We saw a track which is a little like Baku in parts but has also very fast corners on the other side. It’s a very complete track.

“I think the show is going to be great, there’s going to be some good overtakes. Hopefully we can get to the front.”

The track is 5.4km and features 19 corners and three DRS zones. According to F1, qualifying laps will be in the 1m 28s range and there will be an average speed of 223km/h.

The FIA’s head of vehicle performance Craig Wilson told F1 that the best overtaking spots will be at Turns 11 and 17 but the more risk-taking drivers may find joy at Turn 1.

Ocon and Alpine will be hoping to kick-start their season in Miami having so far suffered reliability issues. Despite having a car that has shown itself to be among the podium placers in terms of speed, the team is currently in sixth place in the Constructors’ Standings.

The main problem has been turning the qualifying speed into race pace and also ensuring both drivers finish within the points. Fernando Alonso has been particularly unlucky in this regard having been forced to retire in two of the opening four races so far.

The Spaniard himself has suggested he could have 25 to 30 points rather than two had luck been on his side.

“I think there are a lot of unfortunate moments for me so far in the championship, out of my hands or out of my control, and this is another example,” he said, quoted by Mundo Deportivo.

“I’d rather finish the season better than start it well and then finish it badly. But at the same time, obviously, when you watch the races on TV, and I’ve been watching too many at the moment, to have only two points in the championship when I should have maybe 25 or 30… that’s painful.”


Alpine and Alfa Romeo challenging one another

Alpine and Alfa Romeo look to be in competition with one another, and Miami will be another chance to see who is truly the better of the two teams.