Vilardo: 2023 Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix Preview

Top speeds should approach 199 miles per hour with the average lap speed of near 139

Posted on May 5, 2023

  By Stephen Vilardo, SWS | Dane Miller, Series Editor

The Formula One schedule brings the teams to the United States for the first of three races in the States this season on Sunday.

And, for the first time this year, the series we will be racing on consecutive weekends after last week’s Grand Prix in Azerbaijan.

The demands will not only be on the carriers delivering the cars across the world but also on the individuals themselves.

It’s an eight-hour time change from Baku to Miami, which could be a shock to the internal body clock.

I preview the Miami Grand Prix here and the picks of our Formula 1 writers and broadcasters appear at the bottom.

Television Schedule

Free Practice 1: Friday, 11:00 am PT, ESPN2
Free Practice 2: Friday, 2:30 pm PT, ESPN2
Free Practice 3: Saturday, 9:30 am PT, ESPN
Qualifying: Saturday, 1:00 pm PT, ESPN
Race: Sunday, 12:30 pm PT, ABC

Miami Grand Prix Quick Facts

Location: Miami Gardens, Florida
Track: Miami International Autodrome
Track Type: Temporary Street Circuit
Turns: 19
Lap Length: 3.19 miles
Race Length: 57 laps
Fastest Lap: Max Verstappen 1:31.361 in a Red Bull, 2022
Qualifying Record: Charles Leclerc 1:28.796 in a Ferrari, 2022
Most Wins by Constructor: 1 – Red Bull
Most Wins by a Driver: 1 – Max Verstappen

The street circuit surrounding Hard Rock Stadium features 19 corners, three straights, elevation changes, and a chicane.

The top speeds should approach 199 miles per hour while the average speed for a lap should be near 139 MPH.

The course features three DRS Zones (where the rear wing opens up to increase speed), while the drivers figure to have passing opportunities in Turns 11 and 17.

All told the cars should be at full throttle for about 58 percent of the lap.

The 3.19-mile circuit has some comparisons to the street track at Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, especially the section from Turns 11 to 16. The rest of the track is a very fast layout.

The turns are mostly characterized as slow corners, though, acting to break up three fast straights. In its most basic sense, the track can be described as three separate straights with a multitude of corners between them.

The Miami street circuit features 19 corners and three straights |

The teams figure to set their cars up for average downforce levels to give just enough grip to handle the turns, but not too much drag to lose speed on the straights.

The track has been re-surfaced for the 2023 race and with any resurfacing comes a bit of an unknown for the Pirelli tires. As the surface is not used often, the Track Evolution is five out of five on Pirelli’s tire characteristic scale.

What the teams see from the tires on Friday may not be the same way they react and degrade on Sunday.

Tire Grip and Traction, however, are both middle of the scale at three out of five on Pirelli’s range. The asphalt abrasion should be very low, though, thanks in large part to the resurfacing.

The tire manufacturer rates the abrasiveness at two of five on its scale.

The weather in South Florida is always unpredictable and recently this Spring has been as well. From torrential downpours and flooding to downright cold mornings and near-record heat, this Spring has already made the unpredictable even more volatile.

Yet, this weekend should see lots of sunshine and temps near 85℉. There is a chance of showers on Sunday developing later in the day, though, and if the storms push through earlier it could produce additional excitement.

Last year, the maximum track temp was 138 Degrees |

And with the heat at such high levels, the asphalt could be cooking, reaching 140 Degrees at times. Last year, the maximum track temp was 138 Degrees while race day saw the air temps reach 92 Degrees.

It may be slightly cooler this year, but the high surface temperatures undoubtedly played into Pirelli’s choice in tire compounds.

The tire manufacturer is bringing the three tires from the middle of its range, rather than softer options. The Medium Tire could be the most suited for the 57-lap race, with the new smooth asphalt offering reasonable grip.

At the same time, the layout runs counter-clockwise, which should lead to heavier degradation on the right side of the car.

In that sense, strategy on tire choice and how much the teams can extract out of each compound could be a key to watch.

Look for the drivers up front to manage their tires during the race with a potential late push that results in a handful of position changes in the closing stages of the Grand Prix.

Speed Points

• Red Bull has outscored Ferrari by 334 points over the last 22 races.

• Max Verstappen has scored in 23 consecutive races, including 16 wins and 20 podiums.

• Dating back to the 2021 season, Red Bull has had at least one car finish first or second in 32 of the last 34 Grand Prix.

• Red Bull has led 200 of a possible 216 laps raced this season, which equals 92.6%.

• Sergio Perez has completed the most on-track passes in Grand Prix this year, with 13 in the four races.

• The driver who has been overtaken the most is Nico Hulkenberg. When including the Sprint Race in Azerbaijan, his Haas has been passed 20 times, giving him a net -14 mark after figuring in his six on-track passes.

• The only drivers to score in every race this season are Verstappen, Perez, Fernando Alonso, and Lewis Hamilton.

Recent Winners of the Miami GP

2022Max VerstappenRed BullMiami International Autodrome

Our Writers’ Race Picks

—More from Stephen Vilardo—