According to Formula 1 drivers, overtaking will not be an issue at the new Miami International Autodrome, where the race will be held this weekend.
The Miami Grand Prix’s first practice sessions will take place today and according to Pierre Gasly, who has already completed roughly 130 laps on AlphaTauri’s simulator, is certain that the 5.4-kilometer course will provide exciting racing.
“It looks amazing, to me it looks really fast,” the AlphaTauri driver said. “Two very long straight lines, which is great because that means there is going to be a lot of overtaking.”
“Very high speed section [in the] first sector. There is a super, super-tight second sector under the bridge before the back straight. Very different type of corners. It looks fast so I’m excited for it.”
According to Gasly, the two lengthy straights will compel the teams to run low-downforce setups, making the high-speed turns at the start of the lap “very difficult.” He believes the turns will be the most difficult on the track.
“From turn four, five, six, seven it’s really high speed,” he said.
“That turn seven is a never-ending left corner, you can’t see the exit, it is just very extremely long. The tyres are feeling it as well there quite a lot.”
Haas driver Kevin Magnussen reiterated Gasly’s remarks on that section of the track, emphasising the importance of the corner because it presents a huge opportunity to overtake.
“It’s a very long straight after that corner and it’s weird braking into that,” Magnussen said. “So you’ve got to try and find the right line there which I don’t think is straightforward.”
“So it does look like an interesting track.”
The Miami Circuit also features a slower and narrower sector near the end of the lap where barriers have been placed to obstruct drivers’ line of sight and act as ‘mistake generators.’
“There’s a very low-speed chicane where the middle of the chicane is going to be blind,” Magnussen noted.
“You’ve got to change direction very quickly to get into the entry of turn 16… So I think there’s a lot of challenges, there’s some unique corners here.”
He compared the Miami track to the Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan, which hosts the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and is known for generating thrilling races. Although none of the Haas drivers has run the track in a simulator, Magnussen is unconcerned about being at a disadvantage.
“It’s like a mini-Baku style circuit. Very long straights and a couple of very low-speed corners and a few high speed,” Magnussen added.
“It’s certainly not going to be difficult to overtake if you have a pace advantage. Baku has always been an interesting race to watch. Hopefully it will be kind of similar to that.”
“What you learn in the simulator you’ll learn in two laps out here in real life.”