F1 gets city approval for Miami GP in 2019
A Formula 1 Grand Prix in downtown Miami in 2019 has moved a step closer after the hosting proposal received preliminary approval from city officials.
Two meetings of the City of Miami Commissioners and the Economic Development and Tourism Committee (Miami-Dade County) took place yesterday, and, following a unanimous vote, city officials will now enter formal negotiations with Formula 1 over a 10-year contract.
If the events gets the green light, it will be the second Grand Prix in USA, in addition to the US Grand Prix held at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
During former Formula 1 promoter Bernie final few years in charge, plans to stage a street race in New Jersey, against the backdrop of the New York skyline, were put forward but never came to fruition.
Sean, Formula 1 managing director, commercial operations, said: “We recognise that this is only the start of the process and we will immediately get to work with the various community stakeholders, the City of Miami, the Port of Miami, Park Management Trust and others, in order to reach a final agreement. Formula 1 in Miami represents a fantastic opportunity to bring the greatest racing spectacle on the planet to one of the world’s most iconic cities, and we are delighted that the journey is.”
Formula 1 said in a statement that it envisions the inaugural Miami Grand Prix taking place in October 2019.
The Miami venture has the backing of Stephen Ross, owner of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, who recently secured the arrival of tennis’ Miami Open to Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Dolphins, in Miami Gardens. The tournament had been played in Key Biscayne for 30 years.
Miami has recently played host to a single-seater motor racing event, staging a Formula E race in 2015. However, the Miami ePrix did not return for a second edition, and organisers were criticised for the environmental impact of hosting the race after millions of dollars was spent on transforming the Park area into a suitable race track.
There are 21 stops on the calendar this season, as the French Grand Prix returns to the series for the first time in 10 years.
The schedule is presently capped at 25 rounds under the Concorde Agreement between Formula 1 and the participating teams, which expires in 2020.
Argentina and Vietnam are also reported to be in the mix to stage new races in the coming years.
Space could be freed up with uncertainty over the future of the German Grand Prix, which has only returned to the schedule this year (on 22 July at) after a one-year hiatus.
According to reports in Germany, negotiations for a new contract for the German Grand Prix have not progressed.
Georg Seiler, managing director of Hockenheim-Ring, said: "How it goes on, I do not know... We will no longer conclude a contract that involves an economic risk. The promoter fee is simply too high. We are a racetrack that receives no subsidies from the region, state or federal government."
On what is needed to keep the German Grand Prix on the calendar, he said: "The problem is that you do not have advertising rights. We set the playground and others earn the money. To host another Formula 1 race in the future, we need an investor or sponsor."