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The Biggest Wild Card For The Miami Grand Prix F1 Race Might Be The Weather

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at January 1, 1970

The hype around the inaugural Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix is real. The brand-new track will see racing on it for the first time this Sunday. What can’t be tested is the possible difference between free practice sessions, qualifying, and what may happen on race day that could be the biggest X-factor.

As the popularity of F1 continues to grow in the United States through increased interest via Netflix’s

NFLX
Drive To Survive docuseries, and the large crowds that have flocked to Austin’s Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) U.S. Grand Prix, the new track that is built around the Hard Rock Stadium, home to the Miami Dolphins, is a magnet for fans, celebrities, and the media. The event was largely sold out just days after tickets went on sale and prices on the secondary market will make this the most-expensive U.S. Formula 1 race in history to get in to.

All eyes will be on the 19-turn, 3.363-mile (5.41km) Miami International Autodrome track that races around the Hard Rock Stadium, sees a fake marina, and a vast array of hospitality suites where fans and businesses can wine and dine.

What no one can anticipate is the weather.

It’s May in Miami and that means that while mornings can be sunny and hot, afternoon rains are not uncommon.

That’s what could make the Miami Grand Prix so interesting. Current forecasts will see sunny and hot (86 degrees Fahrenheit and partly cloudy on Friday for free practice sessions, with temps reaching 89 and partly cloudy on Saturday for qualifying) leading up to the race. Race day could see slicks move to rain tires.

That’s because Sunday afternoon’s forecast is calling for mostly sunny in the morning followed by rain showers in the afternoon. When is the race scheduled to start? 3:30pm local (Eastern Time).

As noted, drivers have yet to actually take laps on the course – the best some have had to get ready for it is simulators. The track design and rain could make for wild racing.

If there were to be cars going off the circuit, it’s more likely in a few locations. Certainly, the Turn 17 hairpin after the long sector 1 straight is one. Turns 11 and 12 after the long sweeping corner in sector 2 are another. But with rain, it can happen anywhere at any time.

None of this is to say it’s bad. If the race does see rain, and it’s in later laps, fans will get to see racing at full speed, along with the dynamics of potential rain, which is racing’s great equalizer.

For those in the U.S. that can’t make it to Miami to see the race in person, the practice, qualifying, and the race will air live on ESPN (3:30pm ET). As Liberty Media-owned Formula 1 looks to increase its media rights for the global racing series in the U.S. after this season, it’s undeniable that ESPN will see its highest-viewed race on Sunday. And it’s very possible, that it will be the most-viewed Formula 1 race in U.S. history. ESPN is on pace to see its most-viewed F1 season on record.

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