The inaugural Miami Grand Prix takes place this weekend as Formula 1 owner Liberty Media increases its expansion into the lucrative North American market.
The Miami International Autodrome track is a 5,42km long street circuit that includes a section of the Hard Rock Stadium where the city’s American football team plays matches. This circuit is a mix of three straights, fast sweeping corners and slow sections including a hairpin where the drivers will record the second slowest speed this season. Three DRS zones have been confirmed, the first detection point is shortly after turn eight, the second is just after turn 16 and the final one is just after turn 17.
So, which car will suit the track? Well, the top two teams have dominated at street circuits in Saudi Arabia and Australia so far with the Red Bull’s superior top-end pace and the Ferraris are quicker in the slow to medium sections. Therefore they start as favourites and are the only two teams to win races this season, with reigning world champion Max Verstappen and drivers’ standings leader Charles Leclerc each with two victories. For us, Red Bull’s 1-2 win at Imola a fortnight ago puts them as favourites heading into Miami.
Lewis Hamilton, Yuki Tsunoda and Sergio Perez have commented on how tricky and supertight the track is will skirmishes with the wall likely at sector three. A Safety Car then is likely and we see the likes of Alfa Romeo and Alpine being able to score points with Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas in good form this season so far.
Mercedes has brought upgrades to Miami for its W13 car, but whether they can extract the pace from it will remain to be seen. George Russell’s brilliant form has seen him outscore teammate Lewis Hamilton in 2022, and the former Williams driver is an outsider for a podium finish based on how well he drives at street circuits and the performance of his car this season. All the teams will use the three free practice sessions to gather data for the rest of the weekend.
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