(Motorsport-Total.com) – This weekend, Formula 1 will make its debut in Miami. Round five of the 2022 Formula 1 season will take place there at the temporary Miami International Circuit. Miami is a whole new Formula 1 track and challenge, so what can we expect from it?
What is the road like?
The 5,412-kilometer track leads around Hard Rock Stadium in Miami and includes 19 corners, twelve left-handers and seven right-handers. The design is interesting because it has a lot of slow corners as well as a lot of very fast corners, but not too many in the middle. There are also several Long Gorges and three DRS areas.
Since slow turns are often followed by long straight lines, low-speed traction is important when getting out of corners and requires compromise in the car’s setup.
At the start of the lap you want high ride height with high downforce for fast corners, on long roads a low drag setting is beneficial and on twisty sections you want lower ride height with high downforce. Accordingly, teams have to think about their priorities and what gives them the best time for the course.
The sectors are all completely different. The first sector is dominated by the fastest and sweeping angles, while the second sector contains more of the slower angles. The third sector is dominated by the long straight back and haircut.
Track development on the new rooftop is likely to be high, so lap times will decrease as the weekend progresses.
Surprisingly, the track has some similarities to circuits like Barcelona: the high-speed corners at the beginning of the lap cause the tires to overheat, and then at the end of the lap comes the twisty section where the hot tires suffer as there is no more grip left.
However, it may be a little easier to overheat the tires in Miami than in Barcelona due to the long strait.
Caption: The Formula 1 circuit in Miami
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Since this track is brand new, there is no historical data available which makes it a complete step into the unknown for all teams and drivers. In the lead up to the race weekend, the focus was on computer simulations and working in the driver simulator in a loop.
In doing so, the teams tried to use the limited information available to them to get as accurate a guide as possible of what to expect when they hit the track in Miami.
Does the track make good races?
The fact that there are three long straight lines with DRS zones, each ending in slow corners, promises good overtaking opportunities. Role 11 and 17 are likely to be key areas to watch out for.
Also, compared to the permanent racetracks, the track is quite narrow in places. While this makes it difficult to fight with a wheel, it can be important for strategy and the ability to configure places where cars and wreckage are difficult to clear. The probability of a safety car or virtual safety car is high.
There were already encouraging signs that drivers are finding it easier to follow another car with the 2022 cars. This would come in handy on a tight street circuit like Miami, where there are some fast, winding corner sections that lead into the strait.
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High temperatures also play an important role as it will be difficult to keep cars cool in traffic, which could mean drivers will have to back out to cool the brakes and power units.
Expectations can differ greatly from reality and duels between the wheel in preparation for the race cannot be simulated. So we’ll have to wait and see how things develop over the racing weekend.
What will the weather be like in Miami?
It is expected to be very warm in Miami, in the 20s and even 30 degrees Celsius. And this is only the air temperature, and the track temperatures will be much higher. In addition, it is expected to be dry as it rarely rains in Miami in May. But the weather can always surprise you…
Interestingly, the weekend schedule means that the first practice session is before the start of the race. On the other hand, the second practice starts later and both sessions do not coincide with the start time of the qualification. So the teams will not have the opportunity to test the tires and the car in the same conditions they would find in qualifying and racing.
The final section of the first practice is the closest to the race conditions and therefore will be especially important for collecting useful data.