Formula 1’s long-awaited Miami Grand Prix will finally take place in 2022 on a 10-year deal finalised after the event finally received local government approval.
F1’s planned race in Miami will add a second grand prix in the United States next season alongside the popular Austin round.
The Miami GP project has had backing from Stephen Ross, the owner of the Dolphins NFL franchise, and secured a long-term deal in principle with F1 – but frequent and major changes have been made to the original proposal to try to satisfy aggrieved locals who campaigned strongly against the race.
The planned downtown Miami street track has switched to a 19-corner, 5.41km circuit housed entirely within the Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium, which has zoning rights and the permission to host racing on its grounds.
After lengthy ongoing objection, a promise to invest $5million into the local community was the cornerstone of a plan “to ensure a lasting and meaningful positive impact” on the city of Miami Gardens, which helped secure the support of the local city mayor that previously opposed the race.
That package paved the way for a unanimous city commissioner vote in favour of the race earlier this week, despite fresh protests, which gave officials permission to finalise arrangements with the venue and F1, including expediting all necessary permits and approvals.
F1 and the Miami promoter have subsequently agreed a deal, which was announced ahead of Sunday’s round of the 2021 F1 season at Imola.
Stefano Domenicali, F1’s CEO, said he was grateful for the “patience and support throughout this process” from local officials.
“We are thrilled to announce that Formula 1 will be racing in Miami beginning in 2022,” said Domenicali.
“The US is a key growth market for us, and we are greatly encouraged by our growing reach in the US which will be further supported by this exciting second race.
“We will be working closely with the team from Hard Rock Stadium and the FIA to ensure the circuit delivers sensational racing but also leaves a positive and lasting contribution for the people in the local community.”
Under the terms of the resolution passed by Miami Gardens, the first $1million installment must be paid in full within 30 days of the first race, with $444,444.44 due under the same terms for each subsequent race.
The F1 in Schools programme will work with the city’s parks and recreation department “at no cost to the city, for both elementary, middle and high school students as well as behind-the-scenes learning tours for students and interaction with the motorsports teams at the event”.
At least five paid event internships must be offered to high school and/or college students, plus five paid internships for graduate students attending schools located in the city in connection with each event.
“The Hard Rock stadium entertainment campus in Miami Gardens exists to host the biggest global events to benefit the entire greater Miami region and Formula 1 racing is as big as it gets,” Miami GP promoter Tom Garfinkel said.
“We have worked with specialist designers to create a racetrack that we, Formula 1 and the FIA believe will provide great racing and we hope to create best-in-class unique fan experiences that are reflective of the diverse and dynamic nature of Miami.
“I want to thank Formula 1 and the Miami Gardens and Miami Dade County elected officials for working to bring this hugely impactful event here for years to come.”