Round five of the 2022 Formula One World Championship heads to Florida this weekend for the inaugural Miami Grand Prix.
The race is a second for the U.S., alongside the existing United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. Incredibly, we'll also get a third race starting from 2023 when a new Las Vegas Grand Prix is added to the calendar.
Right now the focus is on Miami, specifically the Miami International Autodrome which is a temporary circuit located in and around the Hard Rock Stadium complex, home to NFL’s Miami Dolphins. Around 58% of a lap is expected to be at full throttle and top speeds should be around 201 mph.
The track stretches 3.36 miles in length and features a mix of low and high-speed corners, totaling 19 all up, along with three DRS zones. Because the slow corners are often followed by long straights, low-speed traction on corner exits will be important and a compromise is required with the car setup.
Miami International Autodrome, home of the Formula One Miami Grand Prix
The track is very narrow in some places compared to standard, permanent racetracks, particularly around the third sector. This will create a higher chance of a safety car period, due to it being more difficult to remove cars or debris.
Because it's a new track, the asphalt is likely to lead to a high degree of track evolution, especially at the start of the weekend. The weather could be unpredictable, with ambient temperatures expected to hover around 90 degrees throughout the weekend and possibly some rain being seen during Saturday's qualifying. Sunday's race should be dry, though. Pirelli has nominated its C2 compound as the White hard, the C3 as the Yellow medium, and the C4 as the Red soft.
Going into the weekend, Ferrari's Charles Leclerc leads the 2022 Drivers' Championship with 86 points. Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen is second with 59 points and fellow Red Bull driver Sergio Perez is third with 54 points. In the Constructors' Championship, Ferrari leads with 124 points, versus the 113 of Red Bull and 77 of Mercedes-Benz AMG.
In other F1 news, Reuters reported on Thursday that a potential deal for Audi to enter the sport by purchasing McLaren is becoming increasingly unlikely, based on comments made by a person familiar with the matter. The news comes days after Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess confirmed that the decision has been made to allow Audi and Porsche to both enter F1. Both VW Group brands will likely serve as power unit suppliers, with Porsche thought to be readying a deal with Red Bull.