The Miami Grand Prix is a reality, as we are less than two days away from the fastest cars of the world racing for the first time in the new and luxurious Miami International Circuit. A few years ago, this GP seemed very far from reality, however, Formula 1 is gaining more and more ground within the American territory, so much so that in 2023 there will be 3 races in this country, we are talking about the United States Grand Prix (to be held at the well-known Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas), the Miami Grand Prix and the new Las Vegas Grand Prix. If Formula 1 has a stereotype, it is luxurious, and it is not wrong. The highest category of motorsports has a very striking glamour for celebrities and for the general public, so two of the three Grand Prix that the North American country will have will be of the biggest shows that F1 has ever seen, given to two cities with a reputation for being extremely luxurious, such as Las Vegas, Nevada and Miami, Florida.
Being the Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins NFL team, the main attraction of the circuit where this week's GP will take place, the drivers and teams are very excited to start the action on the track. Tom Garfinkel serves as managing partner of the Miami Grand Prix, as well as being the vice president and CEO of the NFL's Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium. Tom has emphasized how it is a dream come true to bring the highest category of motorsports to the famous city of Miami. It took 5 years of many talks and meetings with the top managers of the category along with the organizers of the GP so that they could reach an agreement, which came for nothing more and nothing less than 10 years of racing on the coast of the city.
“The process really started back in 2017. I was talking to Chase Carey and Sean Bratches [F1's former Chairman and CEO, and Managing Director of Commercial Operations, respectively], and at that time we were investigating the possibility of putting the race on in downtown Miami. But the reality was, first and foremost, there were too many constraints to have a good racetrack there with excellent racing.” Tom Garfinkel affirmed. “You have constraints around the roads downtown that don't allow you to construct a track that has a lot of opportunities for overtaking. I think, secondly, getting people in and out of that area downtown is difficult, particularly this many people.”
“I think after investigating through that for a period of time, the conclusion was we can do this around the stadium here in Miami Gardens. I brought Chase out. I took him around the path of the stadium, walked him around. I’d put cones around the racetrack to show where the racetrack would go. Then he could see from the top of the stadium where the racetrack would be.” Tom continued. “I took him on a golf cart around a potential racetrack and just gave him a vision for what we could accomplish. Then right when we were close to finalising that, the pandemic hit, so that took another year.”
“Then when they hired Stefano [Domenicali], he picked everything up, and he and I were able to come to a deal very quickly that made sense for both of us. I really give a lot of credit to Chase and Stefano for having the vision and bringing the race here to Miami.”
Tom has also commented that there is a planned revival of the United States as a power country for Formula 1, as it used to be a few decades ago when they raced at Watkins Glen and Long Beach. "I think we have a great introduction and relationship with F1, and they want to grow this sport here in the United States and we want to be a big part of that with them and work together to get that done."
"We're honoured to have a race here, to be able to be a small part of helping grow the sport and telling those stories, and giving people their experiences, which we think is going to be a really great race."
“I think what is happening with Formula 1 in the United States in the last year is really a phenomenon. It's in the minds of people who weren't just Formula 1 fans, but maybe weren't even racing fans. They are engaged. They're excited. In conclusion, Formula 1 is great.” Tom Garfinkel stated.
As we already mentioned, the Miami Grand Prix to be held this weekend seems to be one of the most anticipated Formula 1 events of the year. Who will take the victory of this exciting GP?