John Floyd
Motorsport columnist
3 minute read
20 Apr 2022
8:01 am

FLOYD ON F1: Time running out for Miami Grand Prix

John Floyd

Before the F1 roadshow heads to the States, it's off to Imola first where high-flying Ferrari faces huge reception.

The Miami F1 Grand Prix set for 8 May is far from a done deal. Picture: iStock

It is Italy this weekend and sure to be a thriller with the tifosi and the Dutch fans in orange guaranteed to be there en masse.

Many of the media are already writing off current world champion Max Verstappen’s chance of retaining his F1 title.

With just three of the 23 races completed, that is surely a premature call. Not a great start with two non-finishes, both due to mechanical failure, but with a healthy Red Bull RB18 and Verstappen it might be an epic season.

Main rival Charles Leclerc is in top form and at last has a winning car. The Ferrari SF-75 has pace, handling, shows minimal tyre degradation, and so far has proved almost 100% reliable. Ferrari will be a hard team to beat in F1 this year, providing future upgrades have a positive result.

Verstappen’s Aussie issue was due to a fuel leak according to Dr Helmut Marko in an interview with Speed Week. Rumours have placed the blame on a flexible fuel hose either leaking at a joint or breaking completely, but the Dutchman’s apparent dissatisfaction with the RB18’s general performance seems deeper seated than just a fuel leak.

Certainly at Albert Park the Ferrari and Leclerc were in a class of their own. With Verstappen’s 46-point deficit, he has a veritable mountain to climb and possibly requires some DNF’s from the Maranello team, but rest assured the 2022 championship is far from over.

To see the 2022 F1 driver’s standings, click here.

With just two weeks before the inaugural Miami F1 Grand Prix, it appears the organisers are still facing opposition from the local population. Residents have demonstrated objections to the race for a considerable time, usually on the grounds of noise pollution, claiming it will “cause severe disruption and physical harm to Miami Gardens residents.”

As final preparations proceed around the Hard Rock Stadium, the organisers still await the issuing of the special events permit by the city authorities. It all hinges on this. If there is no permit there is no race. If they do issue a permit the legal team of residents swings into action with the intention of blocking the race.

ALSO READ: FLOYD ON F1: Sterile designer tracks pose threat to classic circuits

With just over two weeks before the event the Miami GP is on a knife’s edge. You would imagine it cannot get much worse for F1 management and owners Liberty Media. According to a report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal it just has. Litigation regarding the proposed Las Vegas race is looming.

P2M Motorsports, a company formed by a Miami-based businessman and a former Las Vegas politician years ago, claims it had plans to promote a Las Vegas race with a contract between themselves and F1’s former owners.

On the other hand current owners Liberty Media claim P2M Motorsports never legally obtained the rights. It appears, once again, the concept of Liberty’s “destination cities” is creating major headaches for all concerned.