Formula 1 has halted plans for the Miami Grand Prix to be introduced for the 2019 Formula 1 season and has announced that the race will take place in 2020.
Miami was set to be introduced on the F1 calendar for the 2019 season as Liberty Media‘s first race since their takeover of the sport at the beginning of 2017.
But the Miami organisers missed the deadline to sign the contract and agree to host a race for the season after protests from Miami residents for closing certain areas of the Southern Florida city off.
Now, F1 has officially announced that they’ll turn their attentions of bringing a race in time for the 2020 season.
In a statement released by F1, Managing Director of Commercial Operations at Formula 1, Sean Bratches says that aim for a race in 2019 was a concern and set their aim for a long-term view with an aim to introduce a race for 2020.
“In the last few months we have worked diligently alongside our promoter Stephen Ross of RSE Ventures, the City of Miami and Miami Dade County, to realise our ambition to bring a Formula 1 Grand Prix to Miami, and we have made significant progress: however, these are complicated negotiations.” said Bratches.
“Whilst our preference would have been to race in Miami in 2019, there was always a point by which delivering the best possible wheel-to-wheel racing experience for our fans, drivers and teams wouldn’t be possible in the time available. We have now reached that point as far as racing in Miami in 2019 is concerned.
“However, we are taking a long-term view and as a result, we have decided, in consultation with the Miami authorities, to postpone sign-off until later in the summer, with the aim of running the first Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix in the 2020 season.”
The original proposed layout for the race at Miami was hit with protest from the residents surrounding the closure of the area near the American Airlines Arena.
Since then Liberty Media have proposed a new layout to avoid the troubles residents of the city are protesting about, with the new track avoiding the Arena. But Bratches say that they are committed on bringing a race into the city of Miami and are enjoying a positive collaboration with Miami residents, businesses and managements.
“We have always said that we wouldn’t compromise on delivering the best possible race, for the people of Miami, our fans and the 1.8 billion people who watch F1 globally every year, and if that meant waiting until 2020, then that was far more preferable than signing off on a sub-optimal race track, just to do a deal.” Bratches continues.
“At every stage of this process we’ve enjoyed positive collaboration and co-operation with the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County, Port of Miami, Bayfront Parks Management, residents and businesses. As a result of these discussions, we have listened and adapted our plans, including elements of the track layout.
“We are committed to expansion in the US and to Miami in particular and we will be bringing our fantastic sport to this iconic city in October with the Formula 1 fan festival, where we look forward to engaging and exciting fans.”