Second American F-1 Race Coming To Miami

Formula One is coming to Miami as part of the 2021 schedule of events. (Steve Etherington photo)

MIAMI — A second F-1 race in the USA will be added to the schedule in 2021 as a new event in Miami joins the established race in Austin, Texas.

Plans to stage a race on the streets around the ocean front of Miami had to be abandoned because of opposition from citizen groups and various government agencies. The focus then switched to holding a race around the area of the city’s Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins.

This would move a majority of the track off city streets and into the roads and parking lots around the stadium. But local citizens in that area have also vowed to stop the race from occurring. The event will also need the approval of the Miami-Dade County Commission, and that has yet to be granted.

But the good point here is that there will be no Miami or Florida government money involved. Miami Dolphins owner and real estate mogul Stephen Ross will pay the estimated $40 million to build the track, and he will pay for all the race costs.

The Circuit of The Americas relies on an annual contribution of $20 million from the Texas government to pay for the rights to host the F-1 race in Austin. F-1’s Liberty Media is so keen to have a race in Miami that it will reduce the hosting fee. But it will take several years to determine if the Miami race makes a profit.

Just when the Miami race would be held has yet to be established. Would it be in June in conjunction with the Canadian Grand Prix? Or in October in conjunction with the Austin event? Either way, it will have an impact on spectator attendance at Austin because fans who are only able to attend one F-1 race will have to choose between Miami and Austin. The first Miami F-1 race will get a good turnout because people like to go to inaugural events. It will take several years for spectator attendance to balance out between the two events.

There will be a record 22 races in 2020, and the teams are already overloaded as far as the strain on their personnel is concerned. Adding Miami to the schedule will increase that number to 23 in 2021 unless one of the current races drops off the schedule.