Miami GP decision postponed until September

Miami GP decision postponed until September
Adam Cooper
By: Adam Cooper
Jul 19, 2018, 12:57 PM

A decision on the Miami GP has been delayed until September to allow the city to consider more input from residents.

As previously reported, a discussion and vote on the race had been scheduled for July 26, as part of a regular City Commission meeting that covers multiple topics. Four out of the five City Commissioners will have to vote in favour of the plans.

However, a final decision has now been delayed, with an August summer recess pushing it back further.

City Manager Emilio Gonzalez, the man charged by the City Commission with finalising a contract with the F1 organisation and promoter South Florida Racing, told the Miami Herald: "We want to make sure we do this right. It's a big event."

Attorney Sam Dubbin, who represents 11 local residents, filed a cease and desist letter in June, asking the city to stop its negotiations with F1, as well as expressing opposition to major music events.

Other resident groups have expressed concerns.

Revised Miami F1 track layout V2
Revised Miami F1 track layout V2

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A revised circuit layout (pictured above) is one of the intriguing revelations in the draft copy of the Host City contract. The latest version of the track no longer uses the road around the American Airlines basketball arena that was previously employed by Formula E.

Freeing up access to the facility, which will be busy with NBA games in October, was one of the hurdles created by the original layout.

The track has now shifted south and makes more use of Bayfront Park, running alongside the marina.

The section in the port area, on the other side of the bridge, has also been extended, although two different versions of exactly how the extra loop will look are in circulation (pictured below, with short loop). British company Apex Circuit Design is involved in honing the layout.

Revised Miami F1 track layout
Revised Miami F1 track layout

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Finalising details of the usage of Bayfront Park and Museum Park further to the north is one of the biggest challenges that F1 has faced, to the extent that there is a separate contract involving the park organisation, clarifying exactly what can and can't be done in the area.

The organisation's jurisdiction also includes the marina and waterfront, where F1 has asked for "deep water yacht slips" to be reserved for it to allocate. F1 has also asked for marine patrols to help with "prohibiting anchoring in the marine area immediately to the East of the Event."

The documents confirm that the date of this year's Fan Fest, which is intended to kick-start interest in the sport in Miami, "shall be within the period of October 17th to the 21st (inclusive)." The Fan Fest is intended to be an annual event.

F1 has also asked for a wide window for the dates of future races, requesting that the city doesn't host major events in the vicinity of the track "for any year during the term between October 5th and November 15th" unless the Grand Prix date has already been agreed and written approval given.

Although the Host City contract is now on the public record it contains no details of the financial deal with F1 and the local promoter.

It notes that "the financial arrangements shall remain confidential as commercially sensitive, in that it negatively impacts the negotiations of FOWC with other cities or countries and gives a competitive advantage to other promoters that are negotiating or other competitors that stage major events."

However the contract does reveal that the expenditure by the city on 'Voluntary In Kind' services – such as policing, fire rescue, civil works, waster disposal, customs and providing permits – will be capped initially at $1.5m, with that rising by 3% annually.

It's also confirmed that the 10-year period of the initial contract will run from 2019 to 2028, rather than 2029 as an earlier document had stated.

This was the original version of the track that was previously released (below).

Original Miami F1 track layout
Original Miami F1 track layout

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Series Formula 1
Author Adam Cooper