The Miami Grand Prix, which Formula One was hoping to debut in 2019, has been postponed until 2020, meaning next year’s calendar is expected to consist of 20 races.
A second race in the United States of America – alongside the race at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas – has been targeted by Formula One’s owners, Liberty Media, who are keen to expand the sport in the US.
However, the proposals have been hampered by disgruntled locals and delays in the discussions between Formula One and the local politicians.
With a need to confirm the 2019 calendar in the not-too-distant future, Formula One has taken the decision to not rush through the organisation of the event, and delay it’s introduction until 2020.
Sean Bratches, Managing Director of Commercial Operations at Formula 1 said:
“In the last few months we have worked diligently alongside our promoter Stephen Ross of RSE Ventures, the City of Miami and Miami Dade County, to realise our ambition to bring a Formula 1 Grand Prix to Miami, and we have made significant progress: however, these are complicated negotiations.
“Whilst our preference would have been to race in Miami in 2019, there was always a point by which delivering the best possible wheel-to-wheel racing experience for our fans, drivers and teams wouldn’t be possible in the time available. We have now reached that point as far as racing in Miami in 2019 is concerned.
“However, we are taking a long-term view and as a result, we have decided, in consultation with the Miami authorities, to postpone sign-off until later in the summer, with the aim of running the first Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix in the 2020 season.”
Bratches added that they have “enjoyed positive collaboration and co-operation” with the groups involved with the proposed Miami Grand Prix, and the plan to host a Formula One fan festival is still going ahead in October.
“We have always said that we wouldn’t compromise on delivering the best possible race, for the people of Miami, our fans and the 1.8 billion people who watch F1 globally every year, and if that meant waiting until 2020, then that was far more preferable than signing off on a sub-optimal race track, just to do a deal.
“At every stage of this process we’ve enjoyed positive collaboration and co-operation with the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County, Port of Miami, Bayfront Parks Management, residents and businesses. As a result of these discussions, we have listened and adapted our plans, including elements of the track layout.
“We are committed to expansion in the US and to Miami in particular and we will be bringing our fantastic sport to this iconic city in October with the Formula 1 fan festival, where we look forward to engaging and exciting fans.”
It is also anticipated that the German Grand Prix will not be included in the 2019 calendar, continuing their recent history of hosting a race every other season.
The German Grand Prix originally alternated between the Hockenheimring and the Nurburgring, but the latter have been unable to host the Grand Prix – due to the costs involved – since 2013.