Formula 1‘s plan to host a Grand Prix in Miami in time for 2019 will have to be put on the back burner. It seems that the contract to host the F1 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. It was expected that the first race would be next year.
Unfortunately, Stephanie Severino, deputy director of Miami’s office of communications, said, “as of right now a contract has not been finalised.”
Nobody is sure why the contract hasn’t been agreed to yet. But, ever since the proposal, opposition has grown with some Miami citizens unhappy about the proposed race.
According to Andres Althabe, president of the Biscayne Neighborhoods Association, “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.”.
“The threat of a lawsuit is clear and this new layout of the race circuit only makes the situation worse.”
USA already has one race in Austin, Texas at the Circuit of the Americas. But Liberty Media hopes to expand the sport’s calendar with more races around the world.
However, Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo admitted that he expects that residents would sue and “they’re probably going to win.”
Liberty Media have targeted ‘destination cities’ for their F1 expansion in the USA. Miami is set to be the foundation for this purpose. There are also talks about possible races in Los Angeles and New York.
Tension is growing for hosting a race at Miami as Althabe said: “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’.”
Liberty Media is is currently awaiting progress in the Miami negotiations before finalising the 2019 calendar.
It has emerged that the opening seven races on next year’s schedule have now been fixed: Australia, Bahrain, China, Azerbaijan, Spain, Monaco and Canada.