Formula One Proposes Miami Grand Prix for 2019 Season

6,293
Canada
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I wasn’t really considering logistics, just pointing out that I think separating the races by country specifically is not necessarily the best or only way to go about things.

Just to be clear, I’m not against having the amount of races that are currently in europe. I’m not proposing dropping Spa or Monza for some new circuit in Africa or South Korea.

I guess I just find it funny (perhaps a little irritating) that almost any time the topic of adding more races in the US is discussed, someone has to bring up the “1 race/country” thing. And usually the person who brings it up happens to live in or near that circle of Europe you’ve got there.

As someone who lives in BC Canada, I’m sitting here like, “come on, throw me a freakin’ bone here.”
 
2,605
Wales
Newport
NFSCARBON1
I wasn’t really considering logistics, just pointing out that I think separating the races by country specifically is not necessarily the best or only way to go about things.

Just to be clear, I’m not against having the amount of races that are currently in europe. I’m not proposing dropping Spa or Monza for some new circuit in Africa or South Korea.

I guess I just find it funny (perhaps a little irritating) that almost any time the topic of adding more races in the US is discussed, someone has to bring up the “1 race/country” thing. And usually the person who brings it up happens to live in or near that circle of Europe you’ve got there.

As someone who lives in BC Canada, I’m sitting here like, “come on, throw me a freakin’ bone here.”

I don't see anything wrong with multiple races in large spread out countries with large populations like the USA. What I'd hate to see is the situation in MotoGP where there are multiple Spanish races, 2 per country is more than enough!
 

Famine

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If anyone's interested, I've also put the locations of the nine teams and eight races (plus Hungaroring) on the map too - circuits in red, teams in green. Silverstone's a bit hard to see, because of Mercedes, Force India and Red Bull all being clustered near it (Force India is actually the opposite junction on the roundabout to Silverstone's main entrance...)

f1-logistics-2.jpg
 
6,293
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If anyone's interested, I've also put the locations of the nine teams and eight races (plus Hungaroring) on the map too - circuits in red, teams in green. Silverstone's a bit hard to see, because of Mercedes, Force India and Red Bull all being clustered near it (Force India is actually the opposite junction on the roundabout to Silverstone's main entrance...)

View attachment 734190
It’s a fair point about most of the teams being in Europe, so having lots of races there makes sense logistically. However, just to play devil’s advocate to that position.

One, as we move forward, logistics will become less and less of an issue. Well, maybe not less of an issue, but more will be possible. Go back to 1970, tell F1 teams that they’ll be doing 21 races in a season, on nearly every continent...they’d laugh, say you were crazy...itd be “logistically impossible”, yet here we are.

I don’t know how many more races could realistically be added to the calander, but I think at least a few could be added. And who knows where global transportation will be at in another 10-20 years.


And perhaps not the greatest example, but look at pro sports teams in the US and Canada. Let’s look at Hockey.

The Original Six teams, as they’re often referred to (Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New York) are all located relatively close together. We could easily draw a circle enclosing those 6 cities, and say, “well, this is where the sport started, it’s where most of the teams are located, etc”, so, “we should have most of the teams and games take place within this circle”. Logistically, it would make a hell of a lot more sense of every North American pro sports team was located on the east coast.

But they’re not, American pro sports has expanded to nearly every corner of the continent. Again, go back to the 70s and tell an NHL person that in 2018, there would be more than 30 teams in the league, playing 80+ games a season, and Las Vegas and Nashville would meet in the Cup Finals....again, they’d laugh at you and label you crazy.

Like I mentioned before, when the NHL started expanding into markets like LA, Florida, Carolina, Nashville, Pheonixus, etc, there was a lot of die hard Canadians, especially in Quebec City and Winnipeg, who felt hockey had no business being in those markets, that the NHL would collapse because of it, that they games would be played in front of zero fans, etc.

Fast forward to today. Some of the expansion teams, like Phoenix and Atlanta, turned out to be flops. The fans never really got into it, but that’s most due to the teams constantly having a losing record, and poor promotional effort by the owners. Other expansion teams though, like Carolina and Nashville, turned out to be very successful. Both teams took a while to get going, fans took a while to take to the sport....but now, both Carolina and Nashville are known for having some of the best and loudest crowds in the league, with the tail gating before Hurricane games being something of a modern legend in the NHL.

So, if we compare F1 to NHL, for arguments sake, let’s say F1 is several orders of magnitude “bigger” than the NHL, in scope and scale. So perhaps, just like it took time for the NHL to really sink into places like LA, Nashville, and North Carolina, it will take a while for F1 to sink into its expansion markets. And because F1 is that much bigger than hockey, perhaps it will take time proportionate to the “order of magnitude” in difference of scope and scale of F1 vs the NHL for it to really gain a foothold in new markets.
 
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JUST. BRING. BACK. WATKINS. GLEN.

It's do-able, Charlie Whiting certainly didn't write it off after his visit last year. They'd need a firm commitment to a contract in order for it to be worth elevating their FIA Grade II status, obviously.

I'd like to see F1 at properly historic tracks rather than more generic street circuits (they all look the same after a while, we've been lucky with Baku) and I have no problem with holding more races in the USA. I watch it on TV anyway :D
 
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mustafur
You don't want F1 to race at a Traditional US track, they will almost certainly ruin it with their run off requirements.

It would be ok at Sonoma though, the racing is crap there anyway, anything would be an improvment.
 
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You don't want F1 to race at a Traditional US track, they will almost certainly ruin it with their run off requirements.

It would be ok at Sonoma though, the racing is crap there anyway, anything would be an improvment.

They’d be as many overtakes at Sonoma as there is at Monaco.

Road America would suit modern F1, but they’d have to do major work to run offs and facilities.
 
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mustafur
They’d be as many overtakes at Sonoma as there is at Monaco.

Road America would suit modern F1, but they’d have to do major work to run offs and facilities.
The hope is if they did Sonoma they fix the track while they at it lol.
 
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ironcobra
As someone who lives just north of miami and just started watching formula 1 Im really excited to see this happen. Now if we could just get motogp over here as well.
 

Jimlaad43

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There's nothing wrong with Miami itself. It did look awesome on TV for the Formula E race, and the weather and people there I'm sure are great. Florida would be a fantastic place to host a GP.

The only problem is the lack of a place for a worthy track layout. No matter how nice something looks, if the track layout sucks, everyone will hate it. Abu Dhabi spent a load of money making the circuit look great (which I think it does), but then gave us a soulless pile of cack for a season closer. Liberty just need to sit down with Hermann Tilke or any other circuit designer and go through each city they'd like to host a race at on Google Earth. Just spend a good few days with gmap-pedometer tracking out circuit layouts that would work - like Singapore or Baku - and then get in contact with the city and try to find out if they'd like to be involved. Miami would have been chucked out almost instantly, whereas cities like LA, Boston and Newark have somewhere that could house an F1 pitlane, a long straight and some non-90 degree corners. Find the circuit you want before getting in contact with the city.

Formula 1 is about speed and aerodynamics. Stop designing Formula E circuits to race them on.
 
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mustafur
As stupid as it sounds, this will make the best racing in for Modern F1 cars, they do need two detection zones though unless the straight isn't big distance wise, or it will be too easy to pass and stay ahead.

Baku works because it's too tight for the racing it allows with the stupid long straights, this needs to be tight though to work, other wise it will be a no SC, crap race type of street track.
 
6,293
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There's nothing wrong with Miami itself. It did look awesome on TV for the Formula E race, and the weather and people there I'm sure are great. Florida would be a fantastic place to host a GP.

The only problem is the lack of a place for a worthy track layout. No matter how nice something looks, if the track layout sucks, everyone will hate it. Abu Dhabi spent a load of money making the circuit look great (which I think it does), but then gave us a soulless pile of cack for a season closer. Liberty just need to sit down with Hermann Tilke or any other circuit designer and go through each city they'd like to host a race at on Google Earth. Just spend a good few days with gmap-pedometer tracking out circuit layouts that would work - like Singapore or Baku - and then get in contact with the city and try to find out if they'd like to be involved. Miami would have been chucked out almost instantly, whereas cities like LA, Boston and Newark have somewhere that could house an F1 pitlane, a long straight and some non-90 degree corners. Find the circuit you want before getting in contact with the city.

Formula 1 is about speed and aerodynamics. Stop designing Formula E circuits to race them on.
Of the roughly 15 corners on the Miami circuit, only 4 are 90’ degrees.

I think it’s way too early to judge whether or no the circuit will be good or not as a race track.

The circuit is over 4km long as well, much bigger than an FE circuit.
 
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They’d be as many overtakes at Sonoma as there is at Monaco.

Road America would suit modern F1, but they’d have to do major work to run offs and facilities.
R.A. would be incredible with an F1 car!! Even to see one test there would be great to see! Good to see some love for RA
 
906
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orlando,FL,USA
It would be nice to have F1 here in Florida however unless the 10 year hosting fee is privately financed to be realistic it won't happen.
 
1,239
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RazorSharkz
You know an American city that would be great for racing because of natural elevation and non grid shape of the city? Austin, we just happened to get a purpose built track within the city limits instead haha.

This is a bit off topic I drew up a pretty layout a few years ago, I lost it though so I probably couldn't recreate it. South City Saint Louis could work too. Old Route 66 twists and turns through the city, is 3 lanes wide each way and has great scenery already.
 
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As much as I dislike COTA, I'd actually rather none of our great tracks (and we have a bunch) get ruined by an F1-ization. I feel like we'd be neutering the character of a lot of these great tracks if they were heavily revised for F1 "standards".
 

Sureboss

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Of the roughly 15 corners on the Miami circuit, only 4 are 90’ degrees.

I think it’s way too early to judge whether or no the circuit will be good or not as a race track.

The circuit is over 4km long as well, much bigger than an FE circuit.

Quite, especially given what Baku has been like lately.
 
6,207
Mexico
Mexico City
MoLieG
Miami? Really?

:rolleyes:

How about Magny Cours? Or, you know, Indianapolis, were there have already been a few US Grand Prix races?
 
6,293
Canada
Canada
Honestly, why can't we just have Sebring?
Not enough runoff, for one


The whole pit entry, final corner, exit of final corner (perhaps the most iconic corner at Sebring) is a disaster as far as F1 circuit standards go. The whole thing would need to be changed.


I’d love to see F1 at the Glen. Charlie already ok’d it after the repave - seems like it could host F1 with minimal changes to the circuit itself. Definitely would need facility upgrades though.

I think Road America would be fantastic too. Similar to The Glen, I think it could get away with minimal changes, mostly just pushing some of the barriers back in some areas, and facility upgrades of course. It’s too remote though, no big airport nearby. It would/does make a really beautiful camping destination, it could have a similar atmosphere to Austria. I don’t think F1 wants to wait the time it takes to grow that kind of event, they want number right now, which is much faster to do with street races.
 

jjaisli

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The main limitation at Watkins Glen is the pit facility

The only track that I think deserves a modern update so F1 could return is Watkins Glen. I've always maintained that anytime this comes up for discussion.

I'm a little late to this discussion but I just wanted to add my own $0.02. I attended every F1 race while the circus went to Indianapolis from 2000~2007. And over the years, I've been to half a dozen F1 events outside of the United States. I've never been to COTA. Hotel price gouging, hefty ticket prices and frankly, a disenchantment with modern F1 left me a bit cold during the first year of the event and I never looked back. Besides, living close to NYC, I'm geographically much closer to Montreal.

I think this just highlights that (a) the US is a large country with room for multiple events and (b) it has a long history of motorsports, though it's connection to Formula 1 was somewhat lost long ago. I would personally LOVE to watch an F1 race at Watkins Glen. I've been to the Glen many times and I've driven over 500 laps of the track over the years, at a pretty decent clip. It's a bit different today than when Formula 1 used to race there, although the basic layout is pretty similar.

From the time F1 left the Glen in the early 80s, until the mid 2000s, it was perpetually flirting with bankruptcy, despite large infusions of money from Corning Corp and International Speedway Corporation, which owns the track. They've made efforts over the years to keep keep the facility in decent shape, and the fact that it's an FIA Grade 2 approved circuit is impressive, but clearly evident when you drive it. That said, it's basically a "NASCAR Track" now-a-days and has been for years. By that I mean that it's what's bringing in the money. It paid for the new Media center, the new victory lane, the recent 2015~2016 repave. And credit where it's due, the media center is world class. But outside of the media center and the track surface itself, the rest of the circuit (infrastructure) is pretty run-down. And as others have mentioned, it lacks the garage facilities necessary for hosting an F1, or even a WEC event. There are garages. But they're in the main paddock, and not along the pit straight. And they're run down and falling apart.

As it stands now, between NASCAR, Indycar, PWC, IMSA, AER, the Historic Grand Prix, and numerous HPDE club events, the track seems to be holding it's own. But it's certainly not swimming in cash. And I can't imagine anybody is going to make the investment required to build proper garages at the track. It would cost untold millions. Even if an outside source would put up the cash to build a modern pitlane facility, I doubt the track has the funds to even properly maintain them long term. And if they were built, what would it get them? The pleasure of bidding for an F1 race which will cost them untold millions to host? Those days are behind and the track owners know it.

I think the 1960s and 1970s are simply a bygone era, in the sense that back then, tens of thousands of people, actually more than 100,000, flocked to the Glen every year to watch the race. They came by the car load and camped out Le Mans style in the infield and surrounding area. It was Woodstock for the car culture crowd. Hotels of the day were an eclectic collection of roadside motels. Many of them still exist and many of them haven't been renovated since. I stayed in one a few years ago. I guess making a K-turn with your body to maneuver yourself into the bathroom and close the door was quaint in the day. I'm in my 40s now. And whether I'm going to watch a race or to drive myself, I need a decent place to stay and sleep. Aside from one, pricey, upscale hotel in downtown Watkins Glen, and the Seneca Lodge, your only real choice is a series of chain hotels down in Elmira or Horseheads, NY, a good 25-30 minutes from the track. The surrounding infrastructure is pretty rural. And not to dissimilar from Elkhart Lake (Road America). It simply could not support 100,000 F1 fans showing up today, who expect a bit more in 2018. And I just don't think you'd find too many people willing to make the ~5 hour drive from NY/Philadelphia/Toronto/Pittsburg, the closest 'hub' airports. Most people don't realize just how far from the center of everything the Glen sits. It really is in the middle of nowhere. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's gorgeous. A1 Ring sort of beautiful. (If you can keep 1/2 an eye closed and accept the fact that it basically sits on a plateau on top of a mountain, and day or night, there is ALWAYS a perpetual breeze blowing. How people camped there I'll never know.)

I think for a lot of you younger guys, you're the exception. Car culture and motorsports interest is truly waning in the world, especially among younger generations. And what Formula E and now Formula 1 is doing with these street circuits in the middle of major metropolitan areas is just a sign of the times. You visit a flashy modern city like Miami with all the nightlife and shopping and the beach and oh yeah, there's a RACE too! That's the attraction they're trying to sell. It's what they were already trying to sell with the failed NJ Grand Prix. And for every person you attract from out of town, there's a local resident who could attend. Quite frankly, the average family in the Watkins Glen area probably couldn't afford F1 ticket prices for the entire family. They'd have to pull 90% of the attendees from outside the immediate area. And WGI isn't the only track in this position. But it does highlight the realities of these traditional rural road courses.

I personally find it all somewhat sad. But that's progress. And I think temporary street circuits in modern cities will slowly start to take over and replace a lot of the traditional venues. And it's not a trend I see reversing anytime soon. Ten years ago I would have scoffed at the idea of a Miami Grand Prix. From an actual racing perspective, I still do. From an organizational and cost perspective, I get it. Grudgingly.
 
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I would personally LOVE to watch an F1 race at Watkins Glen. I've been to the Glen many times and I've driven over 500 laps of the track over the years, at a pretty decent clip....

Couldn't agree more! And as a former Corning/Glen area native, you're spot on with the track and local economy description. Though an F1 return to the Glen is a long shot, the local area and track/facility do have a decent number of factors now swinging in their favor as of recent.

For one, the local airport where drivers and teams have always flown in is getting a massive state funded upgrade, runway expansion, and new national flight contracts (pending). The architecture firm involved has a few renderings of the final product, and it looks far far farrrr superior to the single terminal "walk out onto the runway to board" status that the place currently has. This has a lot to do with a booming local economy bringing in a lot of jobs, especially from Corning Inc.

636100762649120715-ELM1.jpg


Two other nearby factors are the massive boom of hotels right next door to the airport. Since moving away from the Corning area in 2012, they've built a lot of hotels in the area (3 or 4 if I'm not mistaken). On top of this, the shopping mall at the end of the airport runway where teams and fans would usually hang out or shop after track hours if they weren't camping (i.e. staying at a nearby hotel) is also being partially demolished and rebuilt as a destination style mall (With yet another hotel).

636498852372371265-arnotmall15.jpg


And lastly, as you mentioned, the track is in decent shape minus infield hospitality and proper garages. However, I'm actually currently working to propose a few small capital upgrades to the track in order to enhance the fan experience. WGI might not have the capital at the moment, but before they can achieve a higher rank class facility, they need the draw damn good crowd, and I hope these small but potentially significant economic factors help make that happen such that we can at least bring back Indy Car.

For F1 though, you're right, the cities make total sense, especially for Liberty as a brand. F1 is and always will be a business even more than it's a sport. And like any business, it's easier to go to the people, then make the people come to you nowadays.
 

jjaisli

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Couldn't agree more! And as a former Corning/Glen area native, you're spot on with the track and local economy description. Though an F1 return to the Glen is a long shot, the local area and track/facility do have a decent number of factors now swinging in their favor as of recent.

For one, the local airport where drivers and teams have always flown in is getting a massive state funded upgrade, runway expansion, and new national flight contracts (pending). The architecture firm involved has a few renderings of the final product, and it looks far far farrrr superior to the single terminal "walk out onto the runway to board" status that the place currently has. This has a lot to do with a booming local economy bringing in a lot of jobs, especially from Corning Inc.

636100762649120715-ELM1.jpg

At first I thought you were talking about Syracuse, which is in the middle of a (small) resurgence. But you're talking about the Elmira airport? The runway is large enough for private (corporate) jets, but it can't handle 747 cargo aircraft that typically move the teams and equipment and have for the last 20+ years. And that's an important factor now-a-days. Syracuse is 2.5 hours by truck and really doesn't even have the proper facilities for unloading cargo aircraft of that size. So they'd likely have to fly into JFK/EWR.

You're right about all the hotels that have popped up near Big Flats and the mall. There are a lot of options in a small area. But under the two circumstances I've been there (1) as a spectator, where you're fighting lines of traffic to get in and out of the circuit for key events and (2) as a driver where you're fighting exhaustion after being on track, in my opinion, Horseheads is just a BIT too far to be a great option. The last time I was there, in April, driving with NASA, road construction along route 14 meant that the drive to and from the track was at least 35~40 minutes each way. It may not seem like that much, and if you ever attended a race at Spa, you likely faced a similar situation. But it's enough of a hassle that you'd be hard pressed to make a case for a race at WGI and using Elmira as a base to eat, sleep and entertain. It's just a BIT too far away from the circuit.

If those chain hotels were down on the Watkins Glen waterfront, and only 10 minutes from the track, I think you'd have a much better case. And the Harbor Hotel, as nice as it is, especially compared to the throwback motels and B&Bs in the area, it's just not worth the $350~$500/night that they're asking. You stay for one night it's doable. You plan a race weekend and stay for 4 nights and a tent and sleeping bag starts sounding better. And that's really the only hotel downtown.

Either way, don't try TOO hard to make the track 'pretty'. They charge enough as it is for driving events and it seems to go up every year or every time another beautification project springs up. :lol:

And I totally forgot Indy Car was off the schedule--that's a shame. But I also find it interesting that one of my other 'favorite' tracks, Mosport (Canadian Tire Motorsports Park), one of the truly great North American circuits, also suffers from the same problem as WGI--up on a hill FAR away from hotels and accommodations and at least an hour from Toronto (when there's no traffic). So where does Indycar race? Downtown Toronto. How many hard core race fans wouldn't actually prefer to see the race as Mosport, I don't even wonder. But there's little chance of that ever happening. At least Watkins Glen has huge Grandstands and plenty of seats.
 
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At first I thought you were talking about Syracuse, which is in the middle of a (small) resurgence. But you're talking about the Elmira airport? The runway is large enough for private (corporate) jets, but it can't handle 747 cargo aircraft that typically move the teams and equipment and have for the last 20+ years. And that's an important factor now-a-days.

If I'm not mistaken, this is why they're currently extending the runway at Elmira. Also, I realized they did in fact sign a deal with United Airlines to have direct flights to and from NYC now. It happened just last month.

But it's enough of a hassle that you'd be hard pressed to make a case for a race at WGI and using Elmira as a base to eat, sleep and entertain. It's just a BIT too far away from the circuit.

Ah, I see what you mean, but until the town of Watkins Glen (A town whose population is only about 2,000 people locally) expands and grows significantly, Corning / Elmira is the next best option in my opinion. Using route 414, it's only about 20 minutes from the track. It's also currently were a lot of teams go/stay after track time as well. I remember last year seeing the entire GTLM Ford Racing team hanging out in uniform in downtown Corning, as well as Action Express racing quite literally setting up tents and working on their Corvette DP in the Holiday In parking lot in Elmira. Quite a funny sight that was, but they do seem to all stay in the area. Maybe a few stay in Ithaca, but hospitality wise, it's hard to beat the city of Elmira and Corning. But as you say, for the average fan, it's a bit of a drive. But the bigger and better the town gets, the more worth it I think it becomes.

If those chain hotels were down on the Watkins Glen waterfront, and only 10 minutes from the track, I think you'd have a much better case. And the Harbor Hotel, as nice as it is, especially compared to the throwback motels and B&Bs in the area, it's just not worth the $350~$500/night that they're asking. You stay for one night it's doable. You plan a race weekend and stay for 4 nights and a tent and sleeping bag starts sounding better. And that's really the only hotel downtown.

Very true. I think a couple more hotels and/or cheaper water front hotels and expanding the harbor would be very helpful. Downtown Watkins Glen is quite a bit smaller than Corning or Elmira, but it's much more convenient distance wise as you say.

Either way, don't try TOO hard to make the track 'pretty'. They charge enough as it is for driving events and it seems to go up every year or every time another beautification project springs up. :lol:

Haha, they shouldn't be too costly. The main focus will be creating high impact low budget solutions to keep fans at the track longer. Think shade creation.

Also - Apologies, Mods, if we're getting a bit off topic. As great as a second US GP in Miami is, it's always fun to fantasize of a return to WGI :D
 
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