Formula 1 has confirmed there won’t be a Grand Prix in Miami next year, with the sport now aiming to introduce racing in the city from 2020.
Plans for a second race in the United States were announced earlier this year with a view to the inaugural race taking place in October 2019, but negotiations have taken too long to add the race to next year’s calendar.
F1’s managing director of commercial operations, Sean Bratches, said in a statement: “In the last few months we have worked diligently alongside our promoter Stephen Ross of RSE Ventures, the City of Miami and Miami Dade County, to realise our ambition to bring a Formula 1 Grand Prix to Miami, and we have made significant progress: however, these are complicated negotiations. Whilst our preference would have been to race in Miami in 2019, there was always a point by which delivering the best possible wheel-to-wheel racing experience for our fans, drivers and teams wouldn’t be possible in the time available. We have now reached that point as far as racing in Miami in 2019 is concerned.
“However, we are taking a long-term view and as a result, we have decided, in consultation with the Miami authorities, to postpone sign-off until later in the summer, with the aim of running the first Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix in the 2020 season. We have always said that we wouldn’t compromise on delivering the best possible race, for the people of Miami, our fans and the 1.8 billion people who watch F1 globally every year, and if that meant waiting until 2020, then that was far more preferable than signing off on a sub-optimal race track, just to do a deal.
“At every stage of this process we’ve enjoyed positive collaboration and co-operation with the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County, Port of Miami, Bayfront Parks Management, residents and businesses. As a result of these discussions, we have listened and adapted our plans, including elements of the track layout. We are committed to expansion in the US and to Miami in particular and we will be bringing our fantastic sport to this iconic city in October with the Formula 1 fan festival, where we look forward to engaging and exciting fans.”
The absence of the Miami Grand Prix means the 2019 Formula 1 calendar is likely to include 20 races, with the German Grand Prix not expected to feature next year either. Suzuka is also in the final year of its contract to host the Japanese Grand Prix in 2018, but a new deal is expected ahead of next season.