Miami F1 track could create Safety Car traffic jam

The final complex at the Miami International Autodrome

A Safety Car in this weekend’s Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix will trigger a traffic jam as the field works towards a restart.

F1 heads to the Miami International Autodrome for the first time this weekend, a venue created in the precinct which surrounds the Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins NFL team.

Measuring 5.41km and featuring 19 corners, two long high-speed sections dominate the lap.

The layout was the result of 36 different variations before the local promoter, Formula 1, and Apex Circuit Design settled on the final configuration.

It remains a temporary facility, though designed such to offer a similar feel to that of Albert Park.

That will see top speeds of some 320km/h with an average speed of around 223km/h, according to predictions made last April.

Most drivers had the chance to sample the venue last week, though a handful had cut laps prior to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

That left AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda to suggest the final complex will become a traffic jam at a Safety Car restart.

“I drove already,” the Japanese driver said in Imola.

“It’s really different, especially in Sector 3, it’s such tight corners.

“If a Safety Car happens, I guess it’s going to be like a real traffic jam there because it’s super tight – even on a hot lap it’s still quite slow corners.

“It’s going be interesting to see.”

Valtteri Bottas had also sampled the venue, suggesting that it should produce competitive racing.

“Actually what is nice to see is that this seems to be a really good track for overtaking,” opined the 10-time grand prix winner.

“I think the way the track has been planned, I think from my side, it looks positive. It should be good racing, pretty long straights and a couple of really good overtaking opportunities.

“So let’s see how it is in real life but to me on paper looks good and I’m sure as an event is going to be pretty amazing.”

Along with the F1 circuit and nearby stadium, the venue also features cable cars and an artificial marina with yachts.

Miami is the 11th different venue for a world championship grand prix in the United States, with the Circuit of The Americas in Texas hosting the US Grand Prix.

That presence will expand next year with Las Vegas joining the calendar with a street race that includes a blast down the famous Strip.

Before then, F1 heads to Miami this weekend for its inaugural event, opening practice for which begins at 04:30 AEST on Saturday.

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