Formula 1‘s plan to host a Grand Prix in Miami in time for next year has been put on hold after the contract to host the race was not finalised by the 1 July deadline.
The City Commission of Miami voted to negotiate a contract to host a race in the streets of Miami for ten years, with the first race arriving in next year.
However, Stephanie Severino, deputy director of Miami’s office of communications, told Forbes that “as of right now a contract has not been finalised.” It’s unclear why the contract hasn’t been agreed yet but since the proposal of the race, opposition has grown with some Miami citizens unhappy about the proposed race.
Andres Althabe, president of the Biscayne Neighborhoods Association, says that an F1 race within the streets of Southern Florida would not only affect traffic, but also parks and certain areas of the city to prepare for the race.
“F1 not only affects traffic much longer than Ultra; it is even louder. Ultra closes the park for three months and F1 would close it for another almost four months.” says Althabe.
“The threat of a lawsuit is clear and this new layout of the race circuit only makes the situation worse.”
Whilst the USA already has one race in Austin, Texas at the Circuit of the Americas, Liberty Media wants to expands the sport’s calendar with more races around the world and in the USA, with Miami the starting point.
But a race within the Miami area has created resistance, with an Autosport article containing quotes from Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo saying that not only did he expect residence would sue, but “they’re probably going to win.”
Liberty Media are targeting ‘destination cities’ for their expansion of the F1 calendar in the USA, with Miami the starting point as well as a possible race within Los Angeles and New York, although plans for both races haven’t been placed yet.
Tension is growing for hosting a race at Miami as Althabe says at a recent meeting: “the representative of the promoter said to us in reference to residents involvement in the negotiations: ‘it’s not your park, it’s everybody’s park’. Well, it happens that we think exactly that but we end on a different conclusion: it is everybody’s park, so companies cannot close it for their for profit events unless the residents see the closure as a positive use of ‘everyone’s space’.”
The NBA are considering lodging an opposition to the contract if it eventually gets finalised and if they feel there are no benefits of hosting a race within the city.
Liberty Media has yet signed a race since their full take over back in January of 2017, with Miami being the first race they’ve started negotiating a deal for. Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is due to promote the race if successful but F1 will be the driving force behind it as they hope to increase the sport’s fanbase in America. If successful, Miami would host its first race in October on the 2019 Formula 1 Calendar.