The Miami Grand Prix may become a night race in the future, but such a move is unlikely to happen before 2024…
Having been introduced to the F1 calendar in 2022, conversations have already begun about switching the event to a night race, although the Miami GP president has said such a move isn’t likely to happen in time for next year’s race.
The Miami International Autodrome is a temporary circuit that is built around the Miami Dolphin’s home venue, the Hard Rock Stadium, becoming the second US fixture on the calendar after the introduction of the Circuit of the Americas a decade ago. Las Vegas will join the calendar later this year.
Will Miami Grand Prix become a night race?
Speaking over the race weekend this year, Miami Dolphins’ CEO Tom Garfinkel, a managing director of the Miami GP, revealed initial discussions had already taken place with F1 about a possible switch to night racing around the Autodrome.
But Tyler Epp, Miami GP President, has said it’s “very unlikely” for 2024.
Speaking to media at the Belgian Grand Prix, Epp is quoted by The Athletic as saying that venues such as Singapore’s Marina Bay and the upcoming Las Vegas race have offered their expertise to Miami in how best to evaluate and proceed with a switch.
“We’ve talked about: ‘Could we do this? Does this make sense?’” said Epp.
“We didn’t really get too deep into the analysis because at some point, it’s, why are you doing it? Like, let’s make sure there’s a justifiable reason. “(It’s) very unlikely we would do it for 2024. We will continue to evaluate. We’re always looking at ways to make the experience better.
“If we get to the place where Formula 1 says ‘this really does work for us from a broadcast perspective’, and this makes a lot of sense, certainly we’ll take a look at it.”
As it stands, the infrastructure in terms of the bright lighting fixtures required for night racing are not in place at the Autodrome.
In addition to the physical challenges, there’s also the issue of finding an appropriate timeslot to maximise global audiences. A late timeslot for a race in Miami would mean a middle-of-the-night event for European audiences.
Changing Miami to a night race would also mean over 20 percent of the calendar races under floodlights, with Singapore, Las Vegas, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia held as full night races – Bahrain and Abu Dhabi taking place at twilight and into the darkness.
Despite the prevalence of night racing, Epp doubts the switch would have any effect on the race building up its own identify in the coming years.
“Miami is our brand, and we try to bring that out with the circuit,” he said.
“Vegas will be a night race as well. Singapore certainly has their spot on the calendar. I can’t tell you what their decisions are and why they are. For us, we’re pretty committed to being Miami, day or night.”
Tyler Epp: Miami GP not ‘actively pursuing’ Sprint race weekend
Epp also revealed there are currently no changes planned to the track layout or surface any time soon, and nor are they actively pursuing a Sprint race format weekend.
“We’re always interested in a sprint race,” Epp explained.
“But I would also tell you that qualifying was really valuable for us. We see a lot of value in the qualification experience in F1. There are a ton of our fans who have given us great feedback about traditional quali.
“We’re here to support, and if we have an opportunity to host a sprint race at some point, we’ll welcome that. But it’s not something we’re actively pursuing.”