Second Grand Prix at Miami
Last year at the first Formula 1 race the organization for the accommodations like the paddock was a disaster, there was just too much people everywhere a result of the emotion of the first Formula 1 race at the track, this year changes were done now there are more sits, bleachers, places for people to hang out and watch the race, the F1 Paddock is now inside the Miami Dolphins stadium a bit more private, things are getting better, based on online information I find out that tickets started at $880 to watch the race at the track so this is no cheap event better have good places to sit, hang out and relax while watching the race.
DRS has been reduce by twenty five meters and I think this has been done based on Red Bull advantage when DRS is active, this circuit for me is more like a tourist attraction, it looks very nice but as I mention doesn't bring that much difficulty to drivers, lots of straights with the longest straight from all circuits close to one kilometer long straight where cars do over three hundred kilometers per hour on DRS, a circuit very similar to Baku in terms of lay out but much wider. For the average viewers they don't want to see cars going around for over one hour without taking over a position and that's why so many straights to increase the amount of cars taking over the next position with three DRS zones.
Last year turn fourteen on the right side had no tecpro barrier, straight up wall contact.
Turn fourteen on the track is the one that gives the most trouble to drivers, some say its poorly design and at least this year there is tecpro barrier different than last year when there was none and drivers suffer after a lot when hitting this wall, both Carlos Sainz from Ferrari and Esteban Ocon from Alpine suffering up to 50G impacts, lets hope this year this helps protecting drivers and their cars.
I couldn't cover the Baku race but we can say this is Baku 2.0, very similar slow section and long straights, different from the Baku race we are back to our regular schedule, no sprint, three free practice and the Grand Prix on Sunday, I'm open to changes but the Sprint race on Baku I'm no fan as it basically tells you what is going to happen on Sunday plus what if you have a disaster like Australia 2023?? then you have almost 30% less cars on Sunday, I'm still not sold on that format.
Drivers and Teams Standings
The drivers championship is getting very interesting with the two Red Bulls go at each other with Checo controlling street circuits with an iron fist, some say he was lucky at Baku but Max pace was going down towards the end of the race. Third and Fourth place fight between Alonso and Hamilton is turning interesting too and I would like to see Hamilton finish the race at the top four again to stay ahead of Russel, I think Mercedes is been a bit unfair with him but now with James Allison probably the car will be more stable for Hamilton driving style. For the rest of the grid I'm really not interested, for this year for me is all about Red Bull, Aston Martin and Mercedes, Ferrari still has a lot of work to do since they are restructuring their team getting rid of personal from the Binotto era.
Free Practice 1 & 2
During Friday Practice one and two the main problem was dust, the track asphalt has been resurface for a smoother track but there is just too much dust from the work has been done plus this track is Formula 1 exclusive, they should have other races here so cars can lay down rubber into it, dust became a big problem for some drivers, here we can see the William going side ways full Tokyo drift.
Most drivers started with hard tires probably to do laps around and lay rubber, taste the waters of the track and then move into softer compound, other drivers like Nico Hulkenberg on FP1 went straight into softs probably getting too much confidence and he end up spinning crashing his car, destroy the front wing, damage to the right front suspension and also hit the rear right wheel, worst case he may have transmission issues, we have seen drivers hit the rear not too hard but just enough to have transmission problems, he got really mad when he saw the rear side damage after getting out of the car, this created a red flag that lasted a good eight to ten minutes.
Ferrari driver, Charles Leclerc was also victim of the Miami Track, on turn eight he was going with more speed than the car could handle and crash straight into the tecpro barrier, the right side of the front suspension was damage and his front wing so basically minor damage to the car, the rear was ok, this created a red flag but there were less than ten minutes left from FP2,
Practice just been that, practice, it was very uneventful with Red Bull, Ferrari and Aston Martin on top, for this race I really want Fernando to keep wining third place, he had it on Baku ending 0.8 sec behind Leclerc but I think he decided to go hard too late and was nursing too much his tires, that's just my opinion without knowing how good where the tires at that stage of the race but I hope this time he can beat him, first two places will most likely will be between the Red Bulls, Mercedes doesn't see to have the pace yet but there still another practice on Saturday and then Qualification, hope Hamilton can bring it on, my perfect grid for Sunday would be
1- Max Verstappen
2- Charles Leclerc
3- Sergio Perez
4- Fernando Alonso
5- Lewis Hamilton
That order would bring the heat, forcing Max to defend from Sergio since the Red Bull is faster will overtake Leclerc then having Leclerc defend from Alonso and Hamilton trying to catch up, Baku all over again, another very interesting factor is that on Sunday they going to have rain, still don't know how much but this week there was a hurricane in Miami so there still some bad weather coming their way, wind is going to be another important factor, we have seen how it affect cars like last year in Spain Sainz got dragged by the wind and thrown out of the track.
I'm going to take my time to continue cover as much races as I can, last weekend was too busy with unscheduled work from a new client and I really couldn't cover neither enjoy the Baku race, there is also the Canelo Alvarez fight tomorrow so there will be lot of sports events for this weekend.