F1 Miami Grand Prix For 2022 Showing Signs of Life

Joe Saward
·3 min read
Photo credit: Icon Sports Wire - Getty Images
Photo credit: Icon Sports Wire - Getty Images
  • New leaders in key positions in local Miami-Dade County government appear to have the votes to welcome Formula 1 to South Florida.

  • A proposal, one that could get approval as early as April 14, could clear a path for a F1 race for Miami Gardens as soon as 2022.

  • Miami hosted Formula E downtown in 2015.

Miami appears to be on the verge of clearing a path to welcome Formula 1 to South Florida as soon as 2022.

Mayor of Miami Gardens Rodney Harris appears to have the votes to allow a planned F1 race at the Hard Rock Stadium to go ahead in 2022. The proposal is slated to be voted on April 14 when the seven-member city council meets.

The proposal includes a $5 million community benefits package for residents and businesses in the area. As part of the agreement there will be a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) project for the city’s students.

The political climate is different in Miami that it was during earlier F1 talk for the Miami Gardens region. The F1 race proposal is expected to again be opposed by former Miami-Dade commissioner Betty Ferguson, although her power today is limited, as she is not a council member and is no longer the city’s representative on the County Commission—a position she held for 11 years. A ruling to introduce term limits meant that Ferguson, 76, had to depart at the end of last year. The other big change was that the Miami Gardens mayor changed after eight years with Harris taking over from Oliver Gilbert.

It has long been clear, despite Ferguson’s opposition, that an F1 race would provide significant economic impact for the area although she has gone to great lengths to try to block the idea. She has been aided in this respect by fairly poor handling of the problem by the race promoters, who might have saved themselves considerable trouble by getting more involved with the local community before making their announcements.

Photo credit: Formula 1
Photo credit: Formula 1

Ferguson’s opposition to a Formula 1 race may also have been related to the fact that race promoter and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has close ties with former president Donald Trump and hosted a fundraiser for him in 2019.

The goal of having more than Formula 1 race each year in the United States has been at the center of F1’s strategy since Liberty Media took over the business four years ago. The United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, has been ailing financially, weighed down by the debts of the business, incurred in the construction of the facility. Up to now, however, it has continued, largely because F1 needs a race in the U.S., although its long-term future remains clouded. Getting a race in Miami would be a big step forward and there is also believed to be work behind the scenes ongoing by groups wishing to attract F1 to Las Vegas and Indianapolis.

Ferguson’s campaigns in the past have delayed matters with various lawsuits, including a civil rights lawsuit alleging that the Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos A. Giménez, the Miami Dolphins organization and Formula One, engaged in a conspiracy to bring the race to the city and were “disrespectful to a predominantly African-American community."

The City Council will discuss the proposals which include the practice not starting until 2:30 p.m. because public schools will still be operating until then. This suggests that the event could even be a night race, which is probably not something the locals have thought about. There will be “noise mitigation barriers to protect residents and there will be air quality and noise monitoring. In addition there will be a shuttle bus service to help avoid any traffic disruptions.

Miami held a Formula E race downtown in 2015.