Miami Grand Prix set to become a night race?

Thomas Maher
Miami Grand Prix track. F1 schedule

The Miami Grand Prix is next up on the F1 schedule.

Miami Grand Prix management are considering whether or not to pitch their event as a night race for the future.

The Miami GP could become a night race in the not too distant future, according to the event’s management.

Tom Garfinkel, managing partner of the Miami GP as well as president and CEO of the Hard Rock Stadium and the Miami Dolphins, has said talks have begun with Formula One Management about how best to align the event for the future – a switch to night racing being one idea up for discussion.

Last weekend saw the hosting of the second Miami Grand Prix at the Miami International Autodrome, with the Hard Rock Stadium serving as the paddock for the Grand Prix weekend as the track sinews its way around the facility’s outer edges.

“We’ve had some discussions about potentially doing that,” Garfinkel told media on Sunday, when asked about the potential for Miami to become a night race, as quoted by AFP.

Part of the reason for the mooted change is due to the hot temperatures in Miami, although the 2023 event proved cooler for the drivers than the inaugural race last year.

“Obviously at this time of year, the weather is a little unpredictable,” he said.

“This year is pretty nice and the breezes have helped a lot, but last year was unseasonably hot.”

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But a move to night racing in Miami would have a direct impact on audience figures in Europe, given the race would be broadcast in the middle of the night. As a result, Garfinkel said discussions about the change remain ongoing.

“There’s a lot of factors that go into that (decision) with F1 and television and everything else,” he said.

“So, we’ve got to weigh all those things. But we’re certainly open-minded to it.

“We’re not at a place where we’re making a decision right now. I think we’re having discussions about if we did it, and what would it look like.”

Should Miami switch to night racing, it’ll be far from the first circuit to have made the change. 10 years ago, Bahrain put in the infrastructure to allow for night racing and immediately bolstered its popularity after a decade of being seen as a nondescript race in the desert, while Singapore became the first Grand Prix to be held at night when it was introduced to the calendar in 2008.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar are recent additions to the calendar, with both hosting night races in their first years on the calendar, while the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix later this season will also be held at night.