F1 will keep Miami and Austin dates separate

Formula 1 will keep the dates of the Austin and Miami Grands Prix separate on next year's calendar in a bid to maximise the sport's impact in the United States.

F1 will keep Miami and Austin dates separate

Following years of discussions about getting a race in Miami, F1 chiefs announced on Sunday that a 10-year deal had been signed for a grand prix to be held around the city's famous Hard Rock Stadium.

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While no firm date has yet been set for the inaugural event in 2022, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has said he expects the grand prix to be slotted in during the second quarter of next year.

He was also clear that F1 would not run both its USA races back-to-back, as talks remain ongoing with Austin about extending its contract.

"We will keep them separate, in order to give the right space for both," said Domenicali during a press conference at Imola ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. "This is really crucial.

"We are proud, and this is not me, we are proud as F1 because we are looking ahead. We are putting the foundations for an incredible future of F1. And this is a milestone that we all wanted.

"Just last night, when we shared the information with all the teams, everyone was really: 'Wow, that's the right way to go, this is really where we should be.' So this is really the direction we're going to take for a great future for F1."

While there has been talk in the past of F1 looking to hold as many as three or four grands prix in the USA, Domenicali said that for now the sport was happy to keep with the plans for just Austin and Miami.

"America has given us a lot of opportunity, and a lot of interest," he said. "We do believe that the right approach is a second step, that after one grand prix, it will be having two grands prix. There could be lots of opportunity in the future.

"Never say never, but that's what we're going to do in the short term."

With Domenicali saying that F1 is looking at a 23-race calendar for 2022, and is eyeing a race in Africa plus potentially still Vietnam longer term, it is likely that established races in Europe could fall by the wayside.

"I think it is a possibility because we need to be realistic: we cannot have 52 weekends in F1," said Domenicali.

"But the good thing is that we have a lot of interest that will enable us to create unique events, with the right value.

"And we're going to mix the strategic need for F1 to develop in certain countries with the historical places where we know that F1 should stay. So that's the beauty of having this many opportunities in front of us."

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Author Jonathan Noble
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