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Miami Looms Large for Oscar

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Posted on May 4, 2023 Tags:

Hard Rock Stadium a One-off

Images courtesy McLaren Racing

AUSSIE OSCAR PIASTRI had a horror run with food poisoning at Baku and faces the Miami F1 Grand Prix this weekend determined to demonstrate his full potential around the famed Hard Rock Stadium.

Despite that Oscar finished in 11th. And that he finished at all is a tribute to his courage and dogged determination.

Oscar runs #81 on his McLaren car, which was his number in karting. He became the first driver to carry #81 since drivers were able to choose their race number in 2014.

The young Aussie F1 rookie from Melbourne is proving a class act, both on and off the track!

Circuit is Home to the Miami Dolphins

The Azerbaijan and Miami Grands Prix are the first consecutive race weekends in this year’s Formula 1 calendar. The trip is particularly demanding because of the eight-hour time difference between Baku and the Atlantic coast of the United States.

While in Baku the teams had very little practice time to test updates on their cars due to the debut of the new Sprint format, in Miami they will return to a more traditional schedule, with three free practice sessions preceding qualifying and the race.

Miami is the first of three rounds in the US on this year’s calendar, along with the now-traditional event at the wide open spaces of the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, and the much-awaited race in Las Vegas, Nevada.

•             The Miami circuit made its debut on the calendar in 2022 and winds around the Hard Rock Stadium, where the paddock is set up this year: the team hospitality units are located on the American football field where the Miami Dolphins usually play.

New Asphalt an Unknown Factor in Miami

The organisers of the grand prix have had the 5.41 kilometres of track resurfaced for 2023. The previous surface, composed of limestone and granite, had been treated with powerful jets of water.

The virgin surface was analysed by Pirelli technicians during Wednesday’s track inspection..

“It is not the first time that the championship has had three grands prix take place in the US in the same year, but never before have we seen our sport make such an impact with the American public, and this is largely thanks to the commitment made by Liberty Media.

In the first race held on the track around the Hard Rock Stadium last year, the tyres behaved as expected on asphalt which had rather particular characteristics, above all due to a very high “micro-roughness”.

We know that the track has now been completely resurfaced and we will have to check during the usual inspection that precedes the start of the weekend if there will be any significant changes in its characteristics.

The Miami track requires average downforce levels, as it features a wide variety of corners but also a very long straight.

We have brought the middle tyres in the range (C2, C3, and C4), also due to the fact that we can expect very high temperatures: last year the asphalt reached almost 60°C.”

Mario Isola – Pirelli Motorsport Director


Miami – 19 relatively slow Corners

The tyre compounds Pirelli has chosen for Miami are the C2 P Zero White hard, the C3 Yellow medium, and the C4 the Red soft.

•             The track, with 19 predominantly slow corners and three straights, is moderately demanding on tyres. The choice of three compounds from the middle of the range, rather than softer sets, is mainly due to the usually high track temperatures which reached 59°C last year.

•             The most used compounds in the 2022 race were medium and hard. Most of the drivers competed the grand prix with just one pit stop.

The race was neutralised twice by a safety car and a virtual safety car, which allowed some teams to make a second pit stop.

Miami, Florida, USA

While the forecast for Miami is looking particularly tasty this weekend, the weather on the coast of Florida is notoriously changeable.

In 2022 the race was spared by rain, which fell only when the starting grid was being assembled with the high temperatures meaning that the track dried out before the race started.

The experts say the possibility of downpours has to be taken into serious consideration – despite the forecast.

OLIVER BEARMAN WAS THE STAR of the two races in Baku, with the Prema Racing driver winning both the Sprint Race and the Feature Race.

The Englishman shared the podium of Saturday’s race with teammate Frederik Vesti, and Jak Crawford (Hitech Pulse-Eight). Enzo Fittipaldi (Rodin Carlin) finished second in Sunday’s race, ahead of Theo Pourchaire (ART Grand Prix).

The Gold Coast’s Jack Doohan is having an ordinary start to a season he just has to win if he is to make F1 in 2024. Jack is languishing way back in 13th after four rounds. F2 misses Miami but is back in action on the F1 card at Imola, Italy, May 19-21.

Mercedes-AMG Junior Driver Jordan Love was home in Perth for the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia – powered by AWS, teaming up with Tony Bates as the pair took turns to pilot the #24 Mercedes-AMG GT3, around the 2.411km Raceway circuit at Wanneroo. 

After Saturday morning’s double-header qualifying session, the duo started the first race in P10, showing great pace and recording some strong lap times, moving through the order to finish the race in P6.  

Jordan had secured a P3 finish in the Pro qualifying session to give the duo a chance to fight for victory in the second race. He moved up as high as P2 at the halfway point before a driver change took place. Tony was able to keep tabs on the leading pack before contact from a rival saw the car spin, meaning the pair had to settle for a P8 finish.

Jordan will be back in action in the GT World Challenge Sprint Cup next weekend, heading back to the UK to take on Brands Hatch.

“It was great to be back out there on home turf. It was a really enjoyable experience teaming up with Tony.

We showed good pace and made gains in both races with some good overtakes, so there were plenty of positives to take from the weekend.”

– Jordan Love


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