Miami street race ‘would only have looked nice on TV’

Date published: October 4 2021 - Finley Crebolder

Downtown Miami. USA May 2021

The managing partner of the Miami Grand Prix says a street race in the city would have “only looked nice on TV”.

Formula 1 will be heading to the city in Florida for the first time ever next season,  with a race weekend taking place at the brand new Miami International Autodrome, a track built around the Hard Rock Stadium.

Before it was decided that said venue would be constructed, there was talk that the event would be a street race taking place in the city centre.

Tom Garfinkel, the managing director, says that was the initial intention and is why it took so long for the race to be confirmed, and is happy they ultimately decided against such a circuit as it wouldn’t have produced good racing.

“Big things take time,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.

“We initially tried to build a route in downtown Miami, but there was resistance and constraint on the layout of the route.

“Our goal was to build a racetrack where you can experience exciting races. The route in downtown would have offered few opportunities to overtake. It would only have looked nice on TV.

“So it took a while to get to where we are now building the track. Here we can design the course from a blank sheet of paper.

“It also took a while to get all the permits. Then there was the corona pandemic. This has caused further delays.”

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When the city commissioners voting in favour of bringing an F1 race to the area earlier this year, a number of locals were unhappy with the decision.

However, Garfinkel says the residents of Miami are positive about the event and understand that it’s a good thing for the area.

 

“The people are extremely enthusiastic. We had time to prepare them for it,” he said.

“And there is a motorsport culture in this city. We’ve had IndyCar races in Miami before. It’s not far from Homestead. Many racing drivers like Emerson Fittipaldi or Juan Pablo Montoya live there.

“People understand what it means to anyone in this area to have a world event like a Grand Prix in Miami. Economically and in terms of attention value.

“We are registering great interest in this Grand Prix, also in the rest of the USA.”