Codemasters have revealed how the new Miami International Autodrome will look for players of the upcoming 2022 edition of the official Formula 1 game.
The 5.4-kilometre, 19-turn track which will hold this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix is a temporary facility laid out around the Hard Rock Stadium. It was created by Apex Circuit Design and took a little over a year to build.
From the start/finish line, drivers quickly arrive at a three-turn sequence beginning with a right-hander which requires moderate braking. A fast left and longer right-hand bend follows, with asphalt run-off to the left.
The course runs past the stadium before drivers arrive at its quickest corners. In F1 22’s simulation, a dab on the brakes is required at turn four and five, which bend left and right.
These lead directly into three tightening left-handers, turns six, seven and eight, which round one already-notorious landmark, the track’s ‘fake marina’. For drivers, perfecting the line through turn eight will be crucial to carry speed onto the first of two long acceleration zones which follow.
The track winds right and left here and includes a couple of officially-numbered corners which will be taken without a hint of a lift. The second DRS zone, after the start/finish straight, begins shortly after turn nine.
That should make the run into turn 11 one of the best spots for overtaking on the track. But any drivers still side-by-side after it will have to sort themselves out quickly, as the section which follows it is twisty and narrow.
That is especially true of the extremely tight turn 14-15 chicane. There is run-off straight ahead for the drivers, but the potential for track limits disputes and Safety Car-triggering incidents is high in a section of track which Yuki Tsunoda likened to a Formula E circuit.
Another sharp turn, 16, begins the second long acceleration zone. This is almost entirely straight and offers another opportunity for drivers to use DRS. It leads into a very slow left-hand hairpin which will require heavy braking.
The two corners which follow are taken flat-out, and at the apex of the second drivers can open DRS for the third time as they reach the end of the lap. That’s assuming they don’t peel off into the pits which, unlike at most circuits, are located on the outside of the track. Drivers stay right after the turn 17 hairpin and have to tackle a slow chicane as they enter the pit lane.
Despite the tight entry to the pit lane, time lost here is likely to be lower than at other circuits, which could encourage teams to consider multi-stop strategies in the race.
The Miami International Autodrome continues F1’s trend towards quick tracks in city locations. There’s no denying it owes its place on the calendar more to the venue than the nature of its layout.
However the designers have managed to incorporate enough straights of decent length and width that passing should be possible, and a couple of corners which will show the kind of performance F1 cars are capable of. The tight corners in the third sector are more of a compromise, but they will lend a challenge of their own.
We’ll get our first glimpse of how well F1 cars suit the series’ newest venue when they take to the track for the opening practice session in a little over 24 hours’ time.
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