Miami Grand Prix organizers have announced a number of upgrades for the 2023 version of their event, including a repaved track and a new paddock location on the Hard Rock Stadium field.
Formula 1’s inaugural Miami GP was held around the Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium last year and the race will return to the venue on May 7th this year.
Facility updates also include a new and expanded VIP Paddock Club building overlooking the pit lane and start/finish straight.
One criticism of the 2022 event was the crumbling of the track surface over the weekend, making it difficult for drivers to deviate from the racing line and overtake. Organizers, led by Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkel, want to solve the problem and have hired renowned F1 track specialists Tilke to carry out a resurfacing of the circuit.
“We could have just come back with the track we had last year because the goal we had was to do great racing, lots of overtaking, racing side-by-side, but the track we had last year had it Parts where there was a line where there should be an opportunity to overtake, we weren’t happy with that,” said Garfinkel.
“We’re going to pull through the investment and expense to go ahead and repave it to take it where it’s doing better.”
“It went well enough according to the teams and drivers, but we want it to be as good as possible, so we’re going to resurface it.”
Thought was given to changing the track layout, particularly the chicane at turns 14 and 15, but ultimately the track configuration will remain the same.
“We spoke to all the team bosses, the drivers, Formula 1 and the FIA - there were different opinions on the chicane,” explained Garfinkel. “Some riders didn’t like it, others thought it was ok, and it was the same feedback across the grid, everywhere: some liked it, some didn’t, some didn’t care.
“We have gone through this with Formula 1, the FIA and Tilke and have now decided that we will not make any changes. We’ve thought about flattening it out a bit – we’re still looking at that as we wrap things up – but right now it’s meant to stay that way.
“And that’s based on the feedback we got from everyone, which was very varied, some of them didn’t like it, some of them were fine with it. There’s less runoff, so some of the hospitality areas are closer to the circuit, but the layout itself is basically the same.
“But everything will have turned up again.”
At the 2023 event, the F1 paddock – the area where teams are based over the course of the weekend – will move from a narrow strip between the stadium and garages to the field at Hard Rock Stadium. The move is intended to create more space and allow fans with ground passes to watch the paddock from above.
“The fans can look down from the inside if you have a seat pass or ticket, which you can get at level 300, sit on the seats in the stadium and look down at the paddock and see the activity going on below” , said Garfinkel.