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Formula One To Vote on Miami Grand Prix for 2019

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Miami skyline

Photo: John Spade

At the beginning of May, Formula One announced that the City of Miami Commission had put forward a proposal that would bring the sport to downtown Miami if approved. With three officials having already expressed their support for the race, the vote taking place tomorrow—which requires at least three out of five “yes” votes—seems like a formality.

Even if the city goes forward with the plan to host a Grand Prix, however, there would be many details to work out before Emilio Gonzalez, the city manager, can submit a formal “host city contract” to Formula One by July 1.

For instance, one of the proposed layouts of the race uses the bridge to Dodge Island, which is the main route to the city’s port. The port director and other authorities would have to agree to the restricted access over the Grand Prix weekend.

Along with New York City and Las Vegas, Miami is one of the top cities competing for a spot on the Formula One calendar. Cost had been a concern until Stephen Ross, owner of the Miami Dolphins NFL team and its home stadium, came forward as a sponsor with Liberty Media.

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“Miami is a first-class global city and Formula 1 is a first-class global brand,” Ross said in a joint release with Sean Bratches, F1’s commercial director. “In cooperation with the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County, I am confident we can deliver yet another global event that will be a destination for people from around the world and drive economic value to South Florida.”

The proposed circuit layout has not pleased everybody so far. The online fan community reacted negatively and even four-time champion Lewis Hamilton—who loves the prospect of a race in Miami to such a degree that he stated he wouldn’t win a race held there “because Miami is exciting, it is awesome,” and “there are a lot of beautiful women and there is going to be so many distractions”—said the proposed layout was “not the one” after it was posted on Twitter by Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell.

Though a June 2019 race had originally been proposed, that date has since been tabled and an October event was suggested instead.

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