Miami’s City Commission has approved Formula One’s plans to hold a grand prix on the city’s streets next year.
The commission’s unanimous decision allows the city to negotiate the terms of the deal, which will run for ten years from 2019 to 2028. Formula One’s owners Liberty Media have been keen to expand in the U.S.A. since taking control of the sport in early 2017, and the Miami race is expected to join the calendar alongside the existing U.S. Grand Prix in Austin.
A statement from the commission read: “A resolution of the Miami City Commission supporting the efforts to bring the Formula One racing circuit to the city of Miami for the Formula One Miami Grand Prix from 2019 to 2028, and to direct the city manager to formalise the necessary contractual agreement between the City of Miami and the Formula One World Championship Limited.”
The race proposal centres around the south of the city, in the Biscayne Bay area. City councillor Ken Russell shared a view of the proposed layout on Twitter that runs around the American Airlines Arena — home of the NBA’s Miami Heat — and past the city’s Freedom Tower, before going across the harbour and doubling back toward downtown. Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton has offered to redesign the circuit ahead of its debut race.
Today got a first look at a potential map for @F1 in @downtownMIA. Most of course is in the port with a loop around AAArena. Would you like to see #miami become a stop on the Formula One circuit? pic.twitter.com/sOY08hJ5yM
— Ken Russell Miami (@kenrussellmiami) May 3, 2018
F1 commercial chief Sean Bratches said: “With the unanimous votes at both the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County’s Economic Development and Tourism Committee, we are very pleased to have received preliminary approval towards bringing a Formula One Grand Prix to Miami. We recognise that this is only the start of the process and we will immediately get to work with the various community stakeholders, the City of Miami, the Port of Miami, Bayfront Park Management Trust and others, in order to reach a final agreement. Formula One in Miami represents a fantastic opportunity to bring the greatest racing spectacle on the planet to one of the world’s most iconic cities, and we are delighted that the journey is underway.”
F1 has not yet announced a calendar of races for 2019, but the plans put in front of the commission were for a race in October. It is not yet clear if other existing races will fall off the calendar next year, but the contracts for Hockenheim, Spa-Francorchamps and Suzuka are all set to expire at the end of the year.
A race in Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi is also rumoured, although 2020 now seems more likely than 2019, and F1 sponsor Heineken held a demonstration run with Red Bull Racing in Ho Chi Minh City last weekend.