Friday, May 20, 2022

2022 Miami Grand Prix – Preview

Formula One heads to Miami for the first time, for Round 5 of the 2022 season

  • Toto Talks Miami
  • Fact File: Miami Grand Prix
  • Featured: What Can We Expect from the Miami International Autodrome?
  • Stat Attack: Miami and Beyond

Toto Talks Miami

It was a very difficult weekend for us in Imola. George did a great job to finish P4 from an unpromising starting position but with Lewis, we didn’t give him the tools or track position to show his true pace.

Since we returned from Italy, we’ve learned as much from the weekend as we can and, in parallel, our learning has continued in the wind tunnel and simulations. We have found several directions for improving the car, and we will be conducting experiments in Miami to correlate those simulations, and hopefully confirm the development path for the coming races.

Both drivers have been working in the simulator ahead of Miami and the factories have been busy producing updates for the next races. The saying ‘smooth seas do not make good sailors’ comes to mind. This team has shown its resilience over many years and the difficult start to this season has lit a fire within every team member, determined to put it right.

Miami is an exciting new challenge and a complete step into the unknown. The track looks demanding, with a real mix of low and high-speed corners, and it’s set to be a spectacular showcase for the sport to our growing US fanbase. So, we’re set for a fantastic event, and we can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

Fact File: Miami Grand Prix

  • The Miami International Autodrome is a 5.412 km temporary circuit located in and around the Hard Rock Stadium complex – home to the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.
  • The Miami Grand Prix is one of two races in the USA this season, alongside the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas. It is the 11th track to host a Formula One race in the USA.
  • The track is very narrow in some places compared to standard, permanent racetracks, particularly around the third sector. This will create a higher chance of Safety Car and Virtual Safety Car deployment as a result, due to it being more difficult to remove cars or debris.
  • We’re expecting 56% of the lap time (and 71% of the lap distance) to be taken at full throttle, on the lower end of the scale when it comes to the percentage figures for 2022’s F1 tracks.
  • Top speeds at the track are anticipated to reach a maximum of 324 km/h, while drivers are expected to change gear 40 times during the course of a lap.

Featured: What Can We Expect from the Miami International Autodrome?

This weekend, Formula One heads to Miami for the first time, with the temporary Miami International Autodrome hosting Round 5 of the 2022 Formula One season.

It’s a brand-new track and challenge for F1, so what can we expect?

What’s the track like?

The 5.412 km venue is located around the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, featuring 19 corners, 12 left-handers and seven right. The layout is interesting, because it features many low and high-speed corners, but not very many in the mid-range. There are also several long straights and three DRS zones.

Because the slow corners are often followed by long straights, low-speed traction on corner exits will be important and a compromise is required with the car set-up. You want a high ride height with high downforce for the fast corners early on, a low drag set-up for the long straights and then a lower ride height with a high downforce level for the twisty sections. So, you must weigh up where the priorities are and what will get you the most lap time.

The sectors are all quite different. Sector one is dominated by faster, sweeping turns, while the second includes more of the slower turns. Sector three is dominated by the long back straight and the hairpin. Track evolution on the new surface is likely to be high, so lap times will be tumbling as the weekend progresses.

Surprisingly, the track’s characteristics share a few similarities with venues like Barcelona, in that the high-speed corners are early in the lap, therefore heating up the tyres, and the end of the lap features twisty corners where the hot tyres suffer – as there is no grip left. However, tyre overheating might be a bit easier than in Barcelona, due to Miami’s long straights.

Given it is a brand-new track, we have no historical data, so it is a complete step into the unknown for all of the teams and drivers. The focus in the build-up has been on computer and driver-in-loop simulations with the limited information available to us, to try and get as close a guide as possible to what we can expect when we hit the track in Miami.

Both drivers have spent time in the simulator after the last round in Imola to get up to speed with the track layout and find a good base set-up for the first practice session. And it’ll then be important to build on that set-up as the weekend progresses, to get the car into a good working window.

Will it be a good track for racing?

The fact there are three long straights each with DRS zones and each leading into slow corners, does bode well in terms of overtaking opportunities. Turn 11 and Turn 17 will likely be the key places to watch out for.

The track is also quite narrow in some places, compared to permanent tracks. While this does make it harder to race side-by-side, it may prove important in terms of strategy and the opportunity to make places because cars and debris will be harder to clear. The likelihood of a Safety Car or Virtual Safety Car is high.

We have seen encouraging signs of drivers finding these 2022 cars easier to follow and that will be useful around a tight street track like Miami, where there are some fast and twisty corner sections leading onto straights. Hot temperatures are an important factor here too, as keeping the cars cool in traffic will be a challenge and may lead to drivers backing off to cool the brakes and Power Units.

Expectations can be very different to reality and wheel-to-wheel racing isn’t something we can simulate in our pre-race preparations, so we’ll have to wait and see how things progress over the race weekend.

What will the weather be like in Miami?

We expect conditions in Miami to be very warm, in the high 20s and even up to 30°C. And that’s just the air temperature, with track temperatures getting much hotter. It’s also anticipated to be dry, with rain rarely falling there in May. But we all know the weather can surprise us…

Interestingly, the weekend schedule means first practice takes place earlier than the race start time, practice two is later, while neither match qualifying either. So teams will have zero opportunity to test the tyres and the car in the same track conditions as we’ll have for qualifying and the race.

The final section of FP1 will be the closest we get to race conditions and will therefore be unusually important, in order to collect useful data.

Stat Attack: Miami and Beyond

2022 Miami Grand Prix Timetable

Session

Local Time

(EDT)

Brackley

(BST)

Stuttgart

(CEST)

Practice 1 – Friday

14:30-15:30

19:30-20:30

20:30-21:30

Practice 2 – Friday

17:30-18:30

22:30-23:30

23:30-00:30

Practice 3 – Saturday

13:00-14:00

18:00-19:00

19:00-20:00

Qualifying – Saturday

16:00-17:00

21:00-22:00

22:00-23:00

Race – Sunday

15:30-17:30

20:30-22:30

21:30-23:30

Technical Stats – Season to Date (Barcelona Pre-Season Track Session to Present)

 

Laps

Completed

Distance

Covered (km)

Corners

Taken

Gear

Changes

PETRONAS

Fuel Injections

Mercedes

1,901

9,792

30,667

91,410

76,040,000

Lewis

Hamilton

919

4,736

14,835

44,192

36,760,000

George
Russell

982

5,056

15,832

47,218

39,280,000

MB Power

6,747

34,706

109,196

322,406

269,880,000

 

Mercedes-Benz in Formula One

 

Starts

Wins

Podium

Places

Pole

Positions

Front Row

Places

Fastest

Laps

1-2

Finishes

Front Row

Lockouts

Mercedes

(All Time)

253

124

266

135

250

94

58

80

Mercedes (Since 2010)

241

115

249

127

230

85

53

78

Lewis

Hamilton

292

103

183

103

173

59

N/A

N/A

George
Russell

64

0

2

0

2

1

N/A

N/A

MB Power

523

212

546

220

435

191

90

117

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