British company Apex Circuit Design has created the 5.3-kilometre counterclockwise circuit around Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, with an expected lap time of 1:35, and an average speed of more than 210 km/h.
Overtaking possibilities are expected at least three points throughout the 19 turns, with one of the most likely places being on the approach to the hairpin at Turn 17, at the end of a 1.2km straight, where they reach about 320 km/h.
“Racing comes first and foremost in our company’s design philosophy,” said Apex engineer Charles Metcalfe , who has been involved with the project from the start of planning. “As a company, our spirit is to offer a challenge to all F1 teams, their cars, their race engineers and of course their drivers.”
“That’s why we focused on the corner sequences, on a dynamic selection of turns, from high speed to low speed, and to do that we did a lot of simulation work and made sure that there are different zones in a lap that favor the different vehicle configurations.
“There is a high-speed, high lateral G-force section from Turns 4 to 8, where the cars will probably fight to get ahead, and where the performance of the car on the exit of Turn 8 is critical to getting the time. back, followed by two quick turns at Turns 9 and 10 where you can imagine a parallel fight.”
Apex wanted the track to challenge the F1 teams from a car set-up point of view, adding low speed sections as well as higher downforce corners.
“In Sector 3, where we have Turns 14-16 with low speeds and a slight bank change on the motorway overpasses, it’s a very challenging technical sequence,” Metcalfe added. “We have designed ‘error generators’ in the form of camber changes, and grip changes, at the apexes of corners that can cause position changes and where a team can choose a setup that optimizes low speed traction vs. high speed grip.
“We’re looking to challenge the engineers and their car set-up as much as possible. In principle, it’s a street circuit with some very demanding corners, so a lot of downforce is expected, but we have some very long straights and some sequences of high-speed corners that would favor a lower-drag setup.
“There will be a compromise between downforce levels and it will be interesting to see the top speed differences between the teams. We want to see a great mix to make the race as exciting as possible.”
In addition to creating a track design that works from a racing standpoint, Apex wanted the circuit to work from the perspective of spectators flocking to an inaugural event that sold out within hours of being put on. on sale last September.
“From the planning phase, we set out some concepts of what we want from a racing point of view, and looked at how it can be integrated as an event for the spectators, how it can work well for the teams and for F1,” Metcalfe said.
“It’s a great balance, so that leads to a process where you go back and forth with all the characteristics of the circuit and the place, to find the optimal approach and solution,” he concluded.