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Miami Grand Prix F1 track changes circuit

Miami Grand Prix circuit to undergo modifications ahead of second F1 race

The 2022 F1 season welcomed the maiden Miami Grand Prix, and whilst the event was a success, track changes are expected for the 2023 race

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The Miami International Autodrome, which snakes around the Miami Dolphin’s Hard Rock Stadium, hosted its debut F1 race in 2022. However, changes are expected ahead of next season.

Miami Grand Prix F1 track changes circuit
Max Verstappen overtakes Charles Leclerc for the lead of the 2022 Miami Grand Prix. (Image Credit: @sporx on Twitter)

Whilst the hospitality – not to mention the infamous fake marina – stole the show last season, the track layout of the Miami International Autodrome left something to be desired.

Openly criticised by drivers and fans alike for a catalogue of reasons, something had to give. Esteban Ocon, who had a big shunt which prevented him from taking part in qualifying for the Miami Grand Prix, branded the track surface “a disaster”. Sergio Perez went as far as calling it “a joke.”

However, the insults weren’t consigned merely to the track surface and its lack of grip. The circuit was deemed not conducive to promoting overtaking and good wheel-to-wheel racing as well, which will not have been helped by the issues with the tarmac.

After the event, the designer of the circuit, Clive Bowen, spoke to Motorsport Magazine following widespread condemnation of the track from the drivers:

“Actually, it was embarrassment on my part personally, because there’s a lot of time invested in getting this right. There’s professional pride involved, isn’t there?”

However, Bowen did point out that circuits often need a little time to bed in.

“It was the same at COTA, it was the same as Singapore, it was same at Istanbul when it was resurfaced,” he added.

“And so if you think of it from that perspective, it’s just a question of waiting for the track to mature. It’s a brand new piece of asphalt, and it needs to do its thing.”

Turn 14 and 15 chicane

As for the layout, a fair weight of the criticism was targeted at one specific section of the track. Dubbed the “mistake generator” by Senior Design Engineer Charles Metcalfe, it did not prove popular.

Daniel Ricciardo called it “mickey mouse” whilst Lewis Hamilton said it was like driving in a “B&Q car park”. The Mercedes driver didn’t stop there, saying that “we should probably get rid of the chicane.”

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc mused: “I think I’m the only driver on the grid that actually liked this chicane. I enjoyed it,” in somewhat of a backhanded compliment.

Miami Grand Prix F1 track changes circuit
Esteban Ocon’s stricken Alpine is lifted away following his crash in practice at Turn 14 in Miami. (Image Credit: Jared C. Tilton via Getty Images)

Therefore, it’s no surprise that this area of the circuit is set to be the most heavily altered. According to RacingNews365.com, whilst not removed entirely, the chicane will be reprofiled to increase speeds. The barrier at Turn 14 – where Ocon crashed heavily – will also see modifications.

Lastly, it is believed that the whole track could face being resurfaced, with rumble strips rumoured to be under consideration at high-speed corners.

Featured Image Credit: @Reuters on Twitter

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