Inaugural race at Miami International Autodrome designed to provide fans with exciting and close racing at the Hard Rock NFL Stadium
Miami, US: The Miami International Autodrome will test Formula One driver skills to the limit, as the circuit prepares to host its first ever Grand Prix this weekend at the Hard Rock NFL stadium.
Swiss company Geobrugg has provided the concrete barriers and debris fences that will line the full 5.14 km circuit, which was constructed by Apex Circuit Design. Apex simulated 36 different layouts before arriving at this anti-clockwise track, which features 19 corners designed to test the limits of driver skill, according to Apex founder and Director Clive Bowen.
«We had to ensure that we had a racetrack that had enough of a Jekyll and Hyde personality that they were mostly sections with grade change and a lot of traction which require a soft setup on a car, then some super high-speed sections where you want to have a stiff setup to get the best from aero performance and therefore lateral grip through the corners.»
One of main sequences of corners between Turn 13 and 16 will see the cars race under the Turnpike overpasses, which will have ‘mistake generators’ designed to enable cars to get close to each other as they accelerate onto the 1.2 km backstraight.
«The sequence from Turn 13 through to 16 is where we thread the needle under the Turnpike overpasses. Going into Turn 14, you don't see the apex of Turn 15 until you're on the apex of Turn 14. It's what we call a ‘mistake generator’ so the opportunity for drivers to gain position because somebody in front overdrives is quite high.»
The track also required 24'000 tons of asphalt which was locally sourced and made from 60 % Granite and 40 % Limerock from Florida. This innovative mix should give the drivers opportunities to take multiple lines through the corners, depending on the number of marbles offline.
There will be 2'932 of Geobrugg’s Mobile Debris Fences system including Pit Wall used around the circuit, of which 65 pieces will be debris fence panels with an exit opening highlighted in orange to enable marshals to operate flags and to enter the track in case of an accident.
Bowen added: «It should be said that the Swiss watch mentality of Geobrugg has been a joy to work with. The quality of the design and engineering, the consistency of the responses from the organisation meant we were able to count on everybody. The finished product looks perfect as it does everywhere else its installed. We’re a very happy customer!»
Jochen Braunwarth, Geobrugg’s Director of Motorsport Solutions, said: «It’s great to support Apex in the construction of this unique circuit which will hopefully provide some great racing. In total there is 11'536 m of our debris fences, including a permanent wall section of 400 m along 203rd street.»
The high-speed Turn 19 will utilise the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) barriers made by Smith Fence, a system that has been used by F1 since 2016 around 12 tracks on the calendar and is used at every NASCAR track in the US. Smith Fence Vice President, Nicholas Smith, says the system is designed specifically for highspeed corners.
«SAFER is a great safety system to implement in high speed, high impact corners. The system allows for compression during an impact which dissipates the kinetic energy throughout the system, resulting in a minimal force absorbed by the driver.»
With an expected crowed of over 80'000 during the weekend, Miami is set to have an impressive first year of its milestone 10-year deal with F1 to host the race.
Geobrugg develops and manufactures protection systems made of high-tensile steel wire. These systems protect against natural hazards such as rockfall, landslides, debris flow, and avalanches. They ensure safety in mining and tunnelling, and on motorsport circuits to stop impacts from falling or flying objects. Geobrugg has 350 specialists worldwide, production facilities on five continents, as well as branches and partners in over 50 countries.