Another Nail Added to Miami Formula 1 Grand Prix’s Coffin With New Vote Delay

Miami officials seem to be delaying what is starting to feel like an inevitable “no” to hosting a Formula 1 race.

byJames Gilboy|
F1 photo

City officials of Miami, Florida have again postponed a vote on whether to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix on the city's streets, casting doubt on whether the "Magic City" has any hope of hosting the pinnacle of motorsport.

F1's commercial rights holder Liberty Media seeks to host a second Grand Prix in the largely untapped market that is the United States, and identified Miami as one of its top picks for a venue in 2017. Last May, the Miami City Commission revealed a conceptual circuit layout (since modified) but ended up deciding nay on joining the F1 calendar for the 2019 season, largely due to pressure from citizens.

As a result, the inaugural Miami Grand Prix was delayed until 2020 at the earliest case scenario, but hosting that year started to look unlikely when the Commission voted last September to "indefinitely defer" a vote on the race's future. The Independent reports that the Commission held an eleventh-hour vote before the decision's March 28 deadline to again put off voting on the race, this time scheduling the vote for May 23.

Liberty Media has been bullish on bringing F1 to Miami, going as far as hosting a well-attended "fan festival" to promote F1 in the city, but if Miami passes on the chance to host F1, the racing series has backups in mind. Though a rumored return to Long Beach, California has been counted out, at least two other major U.S. cities were still in the running as of 2017: New York City and Las Vegas, the latter being backed by Chinese investors.

Abroad, other cities have been more successful in netting spots on F1's calendar. Vietnam's capitol of Hanoi managed after a much shorter negotiation period to secure its first F1 race for 2020, and though Miami could in theory join Hanoi on next year's rotation, Floridian F1 fans shouldn't hold their breath.