Following the Baku race, Formula 1 moves to the Miami track for the second time, around the Hard Rock Stadium. Last year, during its debut, a Ferrari front row was seen at the start of the Grand Prix, but Red Bull’s superior tire management spoiled the Maranello team’s plans of glory. At the end of the 2022 Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix, the podium was occupied by Max Verstappen as the winner, with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finishing second and third, respectively.
The Miami International Autodrome is a semi-permanent street circuit located in Miami Gardens, around the Hard Rock Stadium. The track utilizes existing asphalt sections and some newly constructed ones. The track length is 5.412 km, with 19 corners, including 7 right-handers and 12 left-handers. There are also 3 straights where drivers can reach top speeds of 320 km/h. There are three DRS zones: the first one is on the starting straight, between turns 9 and 11, which can be taken flat out, and the other two are between turns 16 and 17, which is the longest straight of the track.
The Miami International Autodrome has some undulations that make it difficult to achieve an optimal setup. Between turns 13 and 16, the circuit passes under the Florida’s Tunkpike overpass, which has a significant change in elevation and is also the slowest point of the track. Last year, teams opted for medium aerodynamic loads to maximize top speeds without losing grip. This year, with the increase in the performance of the floor, we may see medium-low aerodynamic loads being used.
After the start, the drivers proceeds towards turn 1, a right-hand bend that sees a maximum deceleration of 5.3 G and anticipates several wide-radius corners in sequence. At the end of this sequence is the first straight, which will give drivers the opportunity to overtake. Approaching turn 11 is the second important braking point of the circuit, with a deceleration of 5.2 G, achieved with 159 kg of force on the brake pedal.
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Sector 2 and 3
The second sector of the track begins with the slowest and narrowest section of the track. Here there is a series of slow corners, with turns 14 and 16 taken at low speeds. In addition, high mechanical grip is necessary, essential to exit these low-speed corners quickly. Immediately after turn 16, drivers enter the longest straight, where maximum speeds are reached, also with the aid of DRS. Turn 17 represents the most stressful point for Brembo brakes, where, according to data provided by the Italian manufacturer, maximum deceleration of 5.3 G is reached. Here, the driver must apply 162 kg of force to the brake pedal, and, together with turn 1, they represent the most challenging corners of the circuit. After this braking point, the circuit continues with two fast corners that bring drivers back to the start-finish straight and the end of the lap.
The Pirelli tire choices for the Miami track
For the American race, the Italian company has decided to bring the middle part of the F1 tire range. The compounds that will be fitted to the cars are the C2, C3, and C4, respectively recognizable by the white, yellow, and red bands.
The Italian manufacturer’s choice to bring the middle sets is to be found in the type of asphalt with rather high micro-roughness and the expected temperatures for the weekend. In fact, last year the track reached temperatures that approached 60°C. After the first edition in 2022, the organizers decided to resurface the track in all its 5.41 km of length. This new road surface represents an additional unknown factor for Pirelli, which will inspect the quality of the asphalt today.