Formula One encountering problems with Miami Grand Prix plans

F1 Grand Prix of Miami?

A tweet from F1 commentator Toby Gruner has highlighted a raft of technical problems that could stall or even cancel a proposed Miami F1 Grand Prix.

He tweeted that there are 'safety worries about spacers between bridge parts & cover for railroad tracks'.

Liberty Media have been very bullish about the prospects for a Miami Grand Prix, with a new street circuit likely to enter the calendar in 2019. And the truth is, they can't let the opportunity for a Miami GP fall through. 

F1 owners Liberty Media have a very different approach to working with potential hosts.

The Bernie Ecclestone era was seemingly confrontational with host cities, and the approach by the American-based company is more about partnership and collaboration. The sanction-fee model may not apply to Miami, thereby becoming a special "free deal" as is the case with the Monaco GP. 

The deal with Miami is far from certain as the organisers and F1 administrators work to make the event feasible. Formula One management boss Chase Carey is keen to see the race calendar expand to 25 races over time, and Miami, with its famous harbour-side and skyscraper backdrop, is seen as the perfect setting.

"We are very proud of the race we have in Texas, but we have talked about destination cities, and I guess the three we've thrown out most often have been New York, Miami, and Las Vegas. So it fits with what we've been talking about," Chase said recently in Spain. 

However, getting the race into the calendar has many hurdles to clear. Financing is critical.

In 2013, a proposed New Jersey race was provisionally added to the calendar, but the money evaporated and the venture failed. 

F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Practice

Miami has a plethora of bureaucratic and city ordinances to deal with, including multiple city stakeholders. Vested interests need to approve a venture of this scale including Miami-Dade County, Florida Department of Transportation, Port-Miami, and a host of utilities. 

Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said in a recent interview: "They stopped Formula E because it was too much trouble. And they have enough things going on in Miami, its not like nobody's heard of Miami."  

He went on to say: "All these things, it's all a case of 'how much? Not only did we try to do things in Miami, I even got the guy, who was a good friend of mine, to build the circuit in Miami. He eventually did it at Homestead or somewhere, but it never really worked.

"And when I was trying to do the street race, and we more or less got it on board, it was going across to the island and back again. And everybody looked at it and thought, 'Christ, it's going to cost a fortune, and it's going to disrupt the place'."

It is clear that Liberty Media are driven to add an additional US-based Grand Prix, given it is home territory and a market they understand.

Whether safety concerns, circuit 'drive-ability', fan viewing, and the huge financial requirement required to host any Grand Prix, let alone a new street circuit, can be overcome, remains to be seen.

But, Miami is certainly very high on the list of 'let's make this happen'. 

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