After the initial success of the first two Miami Grand Prix events, the Hard Rock Stadium event is planning to increase its capacity for next year. This expansion will involve adding additional grandstands along the start/finish straight leading up to Turn 1.
However, race organizers are not complacent, even though they believe there is a demand to attract more fans. Instead, they are striving to enhance certain crucial elements that they believe will take the GP to a higher level.
Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-23, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523
Photo by: Alexander Trienitz / Motorsport Images
More rubber down
The condition of the track in Miami has been a major topic of discussion during its events. In 2022, there were issues with the surface breaking up and a lack of grip, which led to it being resurfaced by Tilke for this year. However, the new asphalt did not significantly improve the situation. Drivers continued to express concerns about the overall lack of traction, particularly when driving outside the racing line.
There is some hope that a more weathered surface will deliver an improvement for 2024, but another aspect being looked at is in ensuring a better support race package – which will put more rubber down on the track for the F1 cars.
“I have discussed with the FIA and F1 the possibility of increasing the amount of rubber on the race track before the F1 cars start.”
We are currently investigating that matter for the upcoming year. Our goal is to create the most optimal environment possible. However, there was a significant improvement of nearly two seconds, and we observed an increase in the number of successful passes, including a pass that resulted in taking the lead.
When questioned about the possibility of having additional support races in 2024, Epp expressed that it is highly likely that there will be two support races accompanying F1 next year. The specific details of these races are still being determined, but the main objective is to ensure that the F1 races and practice sessions are executed to the best of their abilities, rather than simply aiming to fill the schedule.
Sergio Perez secures the 2nd position for Red Bull Racing, while Max Verstappen claims the 1st position. Christian Horner, the Team Principal of Red Bull Racing, joins the team in celebrating a flawless race weekend.
Photo by: Jake Grant / Motorsport Images
Fewer static shocks
Miami made a significant alteration for this year’s event by moving the F1 team paddock within the confines of the Hard Rock Stadium.
Due to the overcrowding at the first event, the stadium location turned out to be highly successful in enhancing the ambiance and facilitating the work of team staff.
However, there was a distinct drawback: the installation of artificial grass to safeguard the field resulted in a significant amount of static electricity. Consequently, whenever someone made contact with an object or another individual, they experienced an electric shock.
Epp believes that the minor issue will be addressed by 2024, as he believed the new location would also be more favorable for fans. They would have the opportunity to observe the drivers and team members throughout the race weekend.
“We were satisfied with it for two primary reasons – the initial reason being the positive reception from key stakeholders,” he stated. “I believe we received almost unanimous feedback from teams, drivers, and even the media, all acknowledging that this was a beneficial alteration.”
We received minimal negative feedback, and there were a few issues, such as the electric shocks. However, we can make necessary adjustments to address these problems, and they are all solvable.
“The other point is that we couldn’t do something in that football stadium on the pitch without making sure that we engaged the fans. I think that was the quiet benefit that we didn’t talk about a lot.
“When drivers begin crossing the paddock to reach the team buildings, and there is a chorus of people cheering, that signifies genuine enthusiasm. At this stage, we can commence establishing something significant as news spreads within the F1 communities.”
Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
There is no race during the night, but there is enthusiasm for a sprint.
Tom Garfinkel, the managing partner, disclosed during the current event that discussions had taken place with F1 regarding the possibility of transforming the Miami GP into a race held at night.
However, although Miami organizers have approached other promoters of night races, the suggestion is currently being postponed.
Epp mentioned that several promoters, including Singapore and specifically Vegas, have been extremely supportive. They have discussed the possibility of pursuing this idea and whether it is logical.
We didn’t delve too extensively into the analysis, as the question ultimately arises: what is the purpose behind it? It is crucial to ensure that there is a valid justification.
“We are not likely to do it for 2024, but we will keep assessing the situation. We constantly explore ways to enhance the experience, and if F1 determines that this approach is beneficial for broadcasting, it would be logical to pursue it. We will definitely examine it.”
Motorsport.com understands that Miami is one of the candidates to hold a sprint race in 2024, as F1 chiefs close in on a decision about which six venues will get them.
Epp mentioned that the venue was receptive to the idea, but clarified that it was not actively advocating for it.
“I find the sprint race consistently intriguing,” he expressed. “However, I must emphasize that qualifying holds immense importance for us. We truly appreciate the value of the qualification process in F1.”
“I think there’s a tonne of our fans that have given us great feedback about traditional qualifying. But we’re here to support [F1] and if we have an opportunity to host a sprint race at some point, we welcome that. But it’s not something we’re actively pursuing.”
Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19
Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
The ‘fake’ Marina and Beach Club
In 2024, Miami intends to maintain certain distinctive features, such as the Hard Rock Beach Club and a simulated Marina.
Epp acknowledges that in the future, a change might be necessary to revitalize the event and prevent fans from perceiving it as monotonous. However, at present, both aspects are considered to be successful.
“At some point, there will inevitably be changes in the way things are, but that doesn’t imply a complete departure,” he expressed. “It doesn’t signify an abrupt disappearance of the beach, but rather suggests that eventually, the beach may transform into something different or incorporate diverse activities.”
However, these choices are primarily based on the demographic and the overall experience individuals have in those areas. Therefore, if we consistently receive feedback indicating that something is pleasant, we will retain it.
“The Marina has been extremely enjoyable. We will keep developing it and there will come a point when it needs to undergo changes, but that is perfectly fine.”