Masi promises Miami circuit won’t be glorified ‘car park’

Date published: October 29 2021 - Jon Wilde

The press conference announcing the Miami Grand Prix. Italy April 2021

After paying a visit to the venue, Michael Masi has dismissed any notion that the new Miami Grand Prix will be a race around a car park.

A second American date has been added to the Formula 1 calendar for 2022, with the first trip across the Atlantic being for Miami’s inaugural grand prix on May 8.

The race will be held on a circuit based at the Hard Rock Stadium, which is being given the name of the Miami International Autodrome.

As some of the land was originally used for parking, it has given rise to suggestions it could be a ‘car park race’ – which was a description applied to the quickly-curtailed experiment of a grand prix at the Caesar’s Palace complex in Las Vegas that took place in 1981 and 1982.

“It’s a proper circuit,” said Masi, the FIA race director, quoted by Racer. “It’s far from a race in a car park.

“Far from it, considering the work that’s going on there in a number of areas. The facility is coming along really, really well and it will be something unique.”

Michael Masi at Silverstone. Great Britain July 2021

Work is ongoing to construct the track even though the Miami Dolphins NFL team are well into their 2021-22 campaign.

“It’s great. I don’t envy them, the way they are having to integrate an NFL season between all the work they are doing and sort of compartmentalise the areas of the work they are doing at the stadium,” added Masi.

“I think it’s a credit to them. They were doing major work there last week and obviously had to put everything back to a level for the Dolphins game to happen at the weekend and then start again the following day.”

 

Masi has also paid a recent visit to Qatar, where preparations are proceeding at pace for the Losail International Circuit to be ready for the country’s inaugural Formula 1 weekend from November 19-21.

“There’s just some apex kerbs and exit kerbs going in, they are doing some work on the lighting in a couple of areas, so it’s just a general upgrade,” said Masi of the venue that will be staging a night race. “They are doing some work in the paddock as well.

“(Losail) is not homologated yet. I’ll do the homologation inspection the week of the race, but there’s nothing I see at the current point that would stop a Grade 1 being issued.”

 

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