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Formula 1: Miami Is Back on the Grid for the 2022 Season

While 2020 brought a lot of change to the Formula 1 season, it is full speed ahead for 2022. The current U.S. Grand Prix is in Austin, Texas, but the race has lost popularity over the years. Is it time to move Formula 1 racing to the land of sunshine? It is definitely on the table.

The possibility of Formula 1 in Miami, Florida

Lewis Hamilton driving
Lewis Hamilton from the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team driving at the Grand Prix of Bahrain | Clive Mason – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

Formula 1 tracks have never had good luck in Florida. Various tracks in Florida have potential, such as Homestead in Miami, but none have worked out. Until now.

Miami has unofficially been approved for the 2022 year for the Miami Grand Prix. This will take place at the Miami Hard Rock sometime in 2022. The contract for Circuit of the Americas in Austin is up for renewal in 2021, but that doesn’t mean Formula 1 officials won’t renew it.

According to Autoweek, we could see an announcement as early as Sunday. At the race this weekend in Imola, Italy, Liberty Media’s Greg Maffei and former F1 CEO Chase Carey will be in attendance. Not typical people to have on hand for a race seem to hint that something big is happening.

Liberty Media has been at the forefront of this fight since the firm took commercial rights of F1 back in 2017. Maffei has been working on a Miami race ever since.

This Wednesday, the city council of Miami Gardens voted in favor of the race. This is still just the start of things, but it’s a good step in the right direction.

Not everyone was thrilled about the Formula 1 news

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Residents are not happy about the Formula 1 race coming into Miami. In fact, many residents vehemently opposed the idea. If you have ever been in Miami during, well, any day really, you know the traffic is atrocious.

Not to mention the onslaught of people who would be heading south for the event. But of all places, Miami is be used to big events.

According to the Miami Herald, residents worry about the implications of a race. Noise, traffic, trash, and a general disruption to life over a few week period every year. Though the race will not take place on public roads, it will still cause a disruption.

Formula 1 is committed to helping the community, but how much of this will actually help residents?

A Miami F1 race compared to COTA

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Currently, the only other U.S. Grand Prix occurs in Austin, Texas, at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) track. More specifically, the track is in Elroy, Texas. According to Wikipedia, the population of Elroy was 125 people in the 2000 census.

The population of Miami was just under 500,000 back in 2019. Miami Gardens, specifically, has a population of just over 111,000. That’s a pretty big difference. Even so, the traffic in Elroy erupts when the race comes to town. How will Miami be able to handle that?

The council offered certain benefits for the residents of Miami Gardens, where the race would be. No races during the school day or after sunset. Signage around the stadium to remind residents of the race (does this help anything?) and air quality control.

In order to “ensure a lasting and meaningful positive impact for city residents and businesses in connection with event,” the promoter will provide $5 million for a community benefits program, to be administered by the city with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department overseeing a “F1 in Schools” STEM program for the city, at no cost, for elementary, middle and high school students.”

Joe Saward | Autoweek

It will definitely be interesting to see how Miami unfolds over the next year. If the pockets are deep enough, the race is on. And we know the pockets are deep enough.

Pay attention this weekend at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Italy this weekend. We might get some confirmation after all.