This is because the placement of chicane, and the narrow sequence of pillars around it, was effectively imposed on regulators by its geographic location below the bridges of the Turnpike Road.
As the project’s lead design engineer Andrew Wallis said, the design had to “thread the needle” to meet FIA track safety regulations.
UK track specialists Apex Circuit Design laid out a 5.41-kilometre anti-clockwise circuit around Hard Rock Stadium.
Its most tortuous section was Turns 13-16, which wraps around the entrance and exit ramps and down the upper sections of the Florida Turnpike and NW 203rd Street.
The FIA regulations regarding the evacuation of superstructures on the track deck meant that the design required to dive down the two overhead lanes, shortly after the 11-foot elevation to cross the southern access ramp, creating a summit at Turn 14-15.
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Race winner Max Verstappen commented: “I think if I were to be in a go-kart it would be nice to take it, but not in an F1 car like we have at the moment.”
Runner-up Charles Leclerc added: “I think I’m the only driver on the grid who really liked this chicane. I enjoyed it.
Infrastructure around the track determined the choices of track designers
Photo by: Zach Mauger/Motorsport Pictures
“But on the other hand, I agree that for the sprint race, I think we can do something better because the following has not been easy in this part, and also for visibility it is very difficult once you have a car in front because you need to be so precise over the barriers.
“This whole sequence was a real engineering challenge,” Wallis told Autosport before the event.
He said: “In order to get below the first bridge we had to comply with FIA regulations that required at least four meters of clearance, but where we had to relate to levels of a slick Turnpike that has a 7% intersection, the surface of our track was only climbing At the point where we needed to fall.
“There’s also an F1 regulation about the rate of change of height associated with a car’s speed square, so this design is basically threading the needle in three dimensions to ensure the cars are going slow enough to align with the camber of the car crossing and back down the bridge.”
For these geographical reasons, the minimum design speed of the liner had to be 80 km/h to meet the rate of change regulation, the star of the lack of visibility from the blind mark.
Miami GP managing partner Tom Garfinkel said organizers could have done a better job of communicating exactly why chicane was designed this way.
“I think the challenge is with chicane and I don’t know that we communicated well enough about why it is and where it is,” he said.
“It was a bit of a necessary evil, if you will, getting a track big enough to make the rest of the racetrack to be cool.
“This is an area with a tricky part, because we have to really slow people down because we didn’t have enough room to flow.”
Leclerc said he was one of the few drivers who enjoyed the chicane challenge
Photo by: Jerry Andre/Motorsport Pictures
However, with Garfinkel stressing that regulators will be looking to see what they can do in the future, there may be ways to improve it.
When asked by Autosport how the Miami GP promoter plans to review and improve the event in the future, COO Tyler Epp replied: “The biggest challenge over the past year has been a tight schedule, so we’re getting over this right away to try to get decisions made for next year as soon as possible.
“We have collected information/feedback from F1, the FIA, drivers and teams, and customers/fans over the weekend. There will be a follow-up with them over the coming weeks on any items they feel they can improve.
“We have internal meetings all this week and next week to summarize everything and see where we need to make changes to improve it.”