Local opposition a potential roadblock to Miami Grand Prix
Officials in the US city of Miami have delayed a decision on whether to proceed with a Formula 1 race next year.
A discussion and vote on the grand prix was scheduled to take place at a City Commission meeting on 26 July, but this has been put back until September while input is sought from residents, some of whom are opposed to the proposal.
City manager Emilio Gonzalez denied that the plans for a grand prix on the streets of Miami in October 2019 were in jeopardy, but told the Miami Herald: “We want to make sure we do this right. It’s a big event.”
Four of the five city commissioners will have to give their support in order for the race to go ahead.
In May, Gonzalez was authorised by Miami commissioners to negotiate a 10-year contract with Formula 1.
However, the Herald claims that many downtown and Port Miami residents have expressed concerns about the impact of a Formula 1 race, including road closures, noise and traffic.
A group called the Better Florida Alliance has already organised a petition headlined ‘Say no to Formula One closing Miami streets’.
There is already a US Grand Prix held at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, but Liberty Media, the owner of Formula 1, is eager to stage a second race each year in a country it regards as a key growth area.
Miami has relatively recent experience of a single-seater motor racing event, having staged a Formula E race in 2015.
However, the Miami ePrix did not return for a second edition, and the organisers were criticised for the environmental impact of hosting the event after millions of dollars was spent on transforming the Park area into a suitable race track.