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Miami Grand Prix: F1’s ‘Super Bowl’ race debut as Charles Leclerc vs Max Verstappen title fight hots up

todayMay 3, 2022

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A gripping fight at the front, world champions aiming for a recovery and an all-new Grand Prix likened to the Super Bowl… get ready for a weekend to remember as Formula 1 heads Stateside for the inaugural Miami GP!

 

The fifth round of the 2022 season has a sprinkle of a USA stardust this weekend as the iconic city of Miami, Florida hosts its first-ever F1 race on a Miami Gardens street track that is set to thrill.

It is the first of two American races this year and all the action will be live on Sky Sports F1, with later starts.

Qualifying is live on Saturday at 9pm while Sunday’s race begins at 8.30pm. There is also the welcome debut of W Series on Sky Sports in Miami, as a new season of the all-female championship kicks off.

 

F1’s circuit layout for the Miami Grand Prix.

 

F1’s first four rounds, meanwhile, have seen fine racing, shocks and drama aplenty, with Charles Leclerc and Ferrari the current championship leaders, though Max Verstappen and Red Bull are gaining title momentum.

Next stop, the USA. F1… Welcome to Miami.

The championship picture ahead of Miami debut

Verstappen’s domination of the Emilia Romagna GP weekend has brought him right back into the championship fight after two DNFs in the first three races. Verstappen is now 28 points behind Charles Leclerc, who conversely finished outside of the top two for the first time this year in Imola and finished his race with a podium-costing crash.

Further back, there is plenty of intrigue at Mercedes for this weekend.

 

Drivers’ standings (top seven) after four races

Driver Team Points
1) Charles Leclerc Ferrari 86
2) Max Verstappen Red Bull 59
3) Sergio Perez Red Bull 54
4) George Russell Mercedes 49
5) Carlos Sainz Ferrari 38
6) Lando Norris McLaren 35
7) Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 28

 

 

Mercedes are still yet to solve their issues on their W13 car with George Russell and a rather out-of-sorts Lewis Hamilton currently sitting fourth and seventh in the standings, and the seven-time world champion is already adamant he is out of the 2022 title fight.

Mercedes, however, do have upgrades planned for Miami, and they are set to be their most significant yet.

 

Constructors’ standings (top four) after four races

Team Points
1) Ferrari 124
2) Red Bull 113
3) Mercedes 77
4) McLaren 46

 

The ultimate guide to Miami GP ‘Super Bowl’

So, F1 has never raced in Miami before?
No, though there has been plenty of speculation in recent years as F1’s US owners Liberty Media wanted to bring more ‘destination cities’ to the sport.

Initially there were plans to host a race in Downtown Miami but focus then shifted to the Miami Gardens area. There were plenty of hoops to jump through – and local residents are still not enthralled – but F1 now has its race in Miami, which becomes the 11th US venue to host an F1 event.

What’s the track like?
The purpose-built street circuit surrounds the Hard Rock Stadium – home of the city’s NFL team Miami Dolphins – and has 19 corners, a mix of high and low speed to complement the long straights where top speeds are set to be around 200mph. It has been compared to Jeddah’s Corniche Circuit and Melbourne’s Albert Park with its feel.

“I think this circuit is a good mixture of high speed and very slow speed that we haven’t really seen so far this year,” said Sky Sports F1’s Anthony Davidson.

“The Turns 14 and 15 chicanes give us some of the slowest speeds we’ll see the cars go this year – bar the Monaco hairpin perhaps.”

Preparations have been picking up around Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium in recent months.

 

Written by: ravradio

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