Leclerc leads from pole at the start of the 2023 Miami GP

F1: 2023 Miami GP Preview

Formula One action moves to the United States this weekend for the 2nd edition of the Miami GP after enthralling races in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Azerbaijan. Miami made an extravagant debut on the F1 calendar last year and it promises to be bigger and better this weekend.

The Miami International Autodrome located within the famous Hard Rock stadium grounds.

After several years of anticipation Miami debuted on Formula 1’s schedule in 2022, with a street-style facility constructed around the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. The layout of the 19-corner 5.4km wall-lined track remains unchanged from its 2022 debut, with fast and flowing sections combining with tricky complexes and lengthy full-throttle sectors to test the all-round ability of a package.

Race organizers have nonetheless taken feedback onboard and have repaved the entirety of the Miami International Autodrome in a bid to enhance the levels of grip available off-line. That has been undertaken with the intention of facilitating closer racing for 2023 after drivers struggled to battle side-by-side in 2022. Off-track there have also been alterations, with Formula 1’s hospitality units moved inside the Hard Rock Stadium, which will be viewable to spectators from the 300 Level of the 65,000-seater arena.

Miami is F1’s 11th different venue in the U.S.A and after making an epic debut last year, it has certainly become one of the most anticipated races in the F1 calendar.

The Miami Grand Prix at the Miami International Autodrome will be the first of three grands prix to be held in the United States in 2023. Austin’s Circuit of the Americas will host the United States Grand Prix, Round 19, on October 22, before the Las Vegas Strip Circuit makes its much-anticipated debut in the championship for the Las Vegas Grand Prix, Round 22, on November 18.

The circuit has been designed in conjunction with Formula 1 officials in order to create the best fast and flowing layout, as well as offering maximum opportunities for racing, with three DRS zones located around the track.

The start/finish line and pit lane will be located adjacent to the Hard Rock Stadium, where the likes of Taylor Swift, The Rolling Stones and U2 once played, and which will now reverberate to the sound of Formula 1 machinery. Formula 1 is ready to thrive in ‘The 305’.

Fact File: Miami Grand Prix

  • The 5.412 km Miami International Autodrome is the 11th track to host a Grand Prix in the USA – the circuit in Las Vegas will become the 12th later this year.
  • The track in Miami ranks high in terms of top speeds achieved comparative with other circuits, with only Monza, the Circuit Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico and the new Las Vegas circuit expected to see higher top speeds this season. Miami together with Baku are amongst the highest circuits for drag sensitivity.
  • This is partly down to the need to optimize the car for the 1.28 km long straight between turns 16 and 17.
  • Ambient temperatures are expected to reach up to, and possibly higher than, 30°C.
  • This is the second highest statistically expected ambient of the year after Qatar, and ahead of Singapore.
  • Last year’s Grand Prix saw similar conditions with George describing it as “a brutal race.” This was partly due to the high ambient temperatures but also the humidity.
  • There have been several small tweaks to the track following the first edition of the Miami Grand Prix last year.
  • These include the track being resurfaced with a new aggregate ahead of this year’s race, offering improved grip for the drivers with the aim of increasing overtaking opportunities.
  • The positioning of some of the Tecpro barriers, along with rumble strips, has also been altered ahead of the weekend.
  • Off track, the team hospitality units within the paddock have been moved on to the pitch inside Hard Rock Stadium. A new Paddock Club building has also been built.
  • The track is very narrow in places, particularly in the final sector, which increases the chances of Safety Cars and Virtual Safety Cars. Sector one features faster, sweeping turns and the middle sector is a tighter, twisty sections. Sector three is dominated by the long back straight and hairpin at turn 17.
  • The track layout presents a challenge to the car setup with need to have downforce for the fast corners early in the lap (T1 to T8) and especially the twisty T11-T16, but without being draggy on the two very long straights.
  • Good mechanical grip/traction out of low speed is primordial to lap time here as T8, T16, T17 are all low-speed corners leading onto long straight segments.
  • The dark new tarmac, hot ambient and rather abrasive (from jet washed) surface leads to very high tire temperatures making management a necessary challenge in the race.
  • Last year, we saw one Virtual Safety Car deployment, which then turned into a full Safety Car.

USA TV Schedule

All Times Eastern

Friday, May 5, 2023 Location TV Times Network
Formula 1 Grand Prix Practice 1 Miami 1:55pm – 3:00pm (Live) ESPN2/F1TV Pro
Formula 1 Weekend Preview Show Miami 3:30pm-4:30pm (Live) ESPN3
Formula 1 Grand Prix Practice 2 Miami 5:25pm – 6:30pm (Live) ESPN2/F1TV Pro
Saturday, May 6, 2023 Location TV Times Network
Formula 1 Grand Prix Practice 3 Miami 12:25am – 1:30pm (Live) ESPN/F1TV Pro
Formula 1 Grand Prix Qualifying Miami 3:55pm – 5:00pm (Live) ESPN/F1TV Pro
Ted’s F1 Qualifying Notebook Miami 6:30pm – 7:00pm (Live) ESPN3
Sunday, May 7, 2023 Location TV Times Network
Formula 1 Pre-Race Show Miami 2:00pm – 3:00pm (Live) ABC/ ESPN3/ F1TV Pro
Formula 1 Grand Prix Race Miami 3:00pm – 5:30pm (Live) ABC/ ESPN3/ F1TV Pro
Formula 1 Checkered Flag Miami 5:30 – 6:30pm (Live) ESPN3
Ted’s F1 Race Notebook Miami 6:30pm – 7:00pm (Live) ESPN3
Formula 1 Grand Prix Race Miami 7:30pm – 10:00pm (Replay) ESPN2
Formula 1 Grand Prix Race Miami 10:00pm – 12:30am (Replay) ESPNews


Last Year’s winner – Max Verstappen

I’m looking forward to Miami, it was a very physical track and also really hot there last year, so we need to be prepared for that.

It’s definitely not going to be easy. It’s quite a complex circuit and I think they resurfaced the track again this year so let’s see how that impacts our performance.

Our fans also designed the livery this weekend, so I’m excited to see what that looks like!

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, leads Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75 during the Miami GP at Miami International Autodrome on Sunday May 08, 2022 in Miami, United States of America. (Photo by Zak Mauger / LAT Images)

Last Race Winner – Sergio Perez

I am looking forward to Miami, hopefully we can continue on our good form from Baku and be really competitive.

I felt super confident in the car last weekend and we executed two perfect races, everything came together.

I always said at the start of this season we needed consistent weekends and Baku was just that. It was the perfect example of how we need to perform and my Team were terrific.

Physically, Miami is the most demanding race of the season, so I have been working hard to be ready for it. That adds a different dynamic to this race and as drivers we have to manage that side of things well to make sure we perform on track.

What’s the track like?

The 5.412 km venue is located around the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, featuring 19 corners, 12 left-handers and seven right. The layout is interesting, because it features many low and high-speed corners, but not very many in the mid-range. There are also several long straights and three DRS zones.

Because the slow corners are often followed by long straights, low-speed traction on corner exits will be important and a compromise is required with the car set-up. You want a high ride height with high downforce for the fast corners early on, a low drag set-up for the long straights and then a lower ride height with a high downforce level for the twisty sections. So, you must weigh up where the priorities are and what will get you the most lap time.

The sectors are all quite different. Sector one is dominated by faster, sweeping turns, while the second includes more of the slower turns. Sector three is dominated by the long back straight and the hairpin. Track evolution on the new surface is likely to be high, so lap times will be tumbling as the weekend progresses.

Surprisingly, the track’s characteristics share a few similarities with venues like Barcelona, in that the high-speed corners are early in the lap, therefore heating up the tires, and the end of the lap features twisty corners where the hot tires suffer – as there is no grip left. However, tire overheating might be a bit easier than in Barcelona, due to Miami’s long straights.

Track Insight

  • Strategy: C2, C3 and C4 tires have been allocated for this weekend, the same as last year’s Miami Grand Prix. A one-stop strategy was the preferred strategy in 2022, although, at approximately 20 seconds, the pit-loss to change tires at the Miami International Autodrome is below the season average.
  • Safety Cars: Last year’s race featured one Safety Car and one Virtual Safety Car. There are plenty of walls and barriers close to the track increasing the likelihood of an interruption during the race. Every race so far in 2023 has featured at least one SC or VSC intervention.
  • Overtaking: There are three DRS zones, the first two of which have been shortened by 75 meters this year. There were 45 passes made in last year’s race, with 17 taking place at the race start and restart. Turn 11 is the preferred spot for passing.

  • Turns Six, Seven and Eight are a tricky combination of consecutive left-handers that flow into each other. Getting braking right on entry for this sequence is difficult, and the exit is just as important with a long, full-throttle run spanning all the way to Turn 13.
  • Turn 13 might not look like much on paper, but it is deceptively tricky. It is slightly uphill, awkwardly cambered, and leads into a very tight, slow chicane. Large amounts of time can be lost in this sequence, which is far from ideal, as the longest straight on the circuit is shortly after this area of the track.
  • At the end of the long straight is Turn 17. Cars will decelerate from 325 to 67 km/h in under 100 meters in this heavy braking zone. The corner opens up on exit, and defending out of it is far from easy through Turns 18 and 19 and down the start-finish straight, especially with a DRS zone aiding overtaking into Turn One

How does resurfacing the track influence a Grand Prix weekend?

Just like the roads we drive on, racetracks require maintenance and care – and that sometimes extends as far as a complete resurfacing. How often a circuit is resurfaced depends on multiple factors, such as climate, geography or the quality of the existing surface.

The resurfacing of Miami International Autodrome means any rubber that would have been embedded into the track surface from last year’s event will have disappeared and likely impact the level of grip. Everything starts from zero, again, and the change in grip level can influence braking distances, racing lines and more.

Rain can be more challenging to deal with on a new surface, with tracks even slipperier than normal, and a priority for teams will be to closely assess how the track evolves during the weekend, how abrasive the circuit is and the nuances that come with a resurface.

While all 5.412km of the Miami International Autodrome have been resurfaced, some circuits, such as the Baku City Circuit F1 raced at last weekend, may only be partially resurfaced and adjusting to both the old and new asphalt is another factor for teams and drivers to consider.

Weather Forecast

The weather looks likely to be hot and sunny with a small chance of thundery showers, and with the key sessions taking place in the mid to late afternoon, it could be quite punishing for the cars, tires and drivers.

Pirelli’s Perspective

  • MARIO ISOLA – MOTORSPORT DIRECTOR “New asphalt an unknown in Miami”“This weekend, Formula 1 will race in Miami for the first of three rounds in the United States on this year’s calendar, along with the now-traditional event in Austin and the much-awaited race in Las Vegas.
  • “It is not the first time that the championship has had three grands prix take place in the US in the same year, but never before have we seen our sport make such an impact with the American public, and this is largely thanks to the commitment made by Liberty Media.
  • “In the first race held on the track around the Hard Rock Stadium last year, the tires behaved as expected on asphalt which had rather particular characteristics, above all due to a very high “micro-roughness”.
  • “We know that the track has now been completely resurfaced and we will have to check during the usual inspection that precedes the start of the weekend if there will be any significant changes in its characteristics.
  • “The Miami track requires average downforce levels, as it features a wide variety of corners but also a very long straight.
  • “We have brought the middle tires in the range (C2, C3, and C4), also due to the fact that we can expect very high temperatures: last year the asphalt reached almost 60°C.”

  • In Miami, the first of three grands prix to be held in the United States this year, the compounds chosen by Pirelli are: C2 as the P Zero White hard, C3 as the P Zero Yellow medium, and C4 as the P Zero Red soft.
  • The track, with 19 predominantly slow corners and three straights, is moderately demanding on tires. The choice of three compounds from the middle of the range, rather than softer sets, is mainly due to the usually high track temperatures which reached 59°C last year.
  • The most used compounds in the 2022 race were medium and hard. Most of the drivers competed the grand prix with just one pit stop. The race was neutralized twice by a safety car and a virtual safety car, which allowed some teams to make a second pit stop.
  • The Miami circuit made its debut on the calendar in 2022 and winds around the Hard Rock Stadium, where the paddock will be set up this year: the team hospitality units will be located on the American football field where the Miami Dolphins usually play.
  • The organizers of the grand prix have had the 5.41 kilometers of track resurfaced for 2023. The previous surface, composed of limestone and granite, had been treated with powerful jets of water. The new surface is an unknown factor and will be analyzed by Pirelli technicians during a track inspection carried out on Wednesday during the week of the race.
  • The Azerbaijan and Miami Grands Prix are the first consecutive race weekends in this year’s Formula 1 calendar. The trip is particularly demanding because of the eight-hour time difference between Baku and the Atlantic coast of the United States.
  • While in Baku the teams had very little practice time to test updates on their cars due to the debut of the new Sprint format, in Miami they will return to a more traditional schedule, with three free practice sessions preceding qualifying and the race.
  • The weather on the coast of Miami is very changeable. In 2022 the race was spared by rain, which fell only when the starting grid was being assembled with the high temperatures meaning that the track dried out before the race started. The possibility of downpours has to be taken into serious consideration.


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