The Eau Rouge is a classic example of a corner that can only be appreciated up close – especially if you’re standing downstairs and looking up and up at the high peak of Raidillon.
But there are some circuits that, while looking good from the side of the track, can only be properly appreciated from where they are intended for better viewing: from the cockpit.
The Miami F1 track is one of those – Friday morning’s Pirelli hot laps session offered an alternative perspective that didn’t revolve around admiring yachts on a fake pier or listening to a DJ at the Hard Rock Beach Club.
Together with the driver of the F1 safety car Bernd Meylander in 577 hp Mercedes The AMG GT R, when it was moving on the track, the perception of the Miami turns was completely different from how they look from the other side of fencing.
The sequence of opening corners comes to you densely and quickly, and the walls look especially close when Maylander tries to maximize momentum through a critical sequence of 4/5/6 turns.
But there are two sections of the track that can only be truly appreciated from the car.
FIA safety car driver Bernd Meylander with Jonathan Noble during Friday’s Pirelli hot laps
The first is a long left turn 7 that runs around the fake marina.
If you look to the left, if you turn a corner, it is quite difficult to notice the yachts and vinyl water, because they are raised much higher than the track. But drivers still do not want to look in that direction, because the complex is extremely complex – and you need a full focus on the right congress.
The duration of turn 7 on paper is similar to turn 8 in Istanbul, as drivers try to maximize speed over a long, long turn.
But while turn 8 in Turkey has a triple approach, turn 7 in Miami is much more challenging.
It lingers at the convention, and a wall approaches the track as drivers try to steer their car toward the long plain at the convention. That means a much wider line around, with a bigger V-approach attack than the standard U.
There is a very feeling that drivers are holding a needle here; you need to find the perfect line with the perfect output, but don’t be too careful.
Meylander smiles: “A very technical corner. This will lead to a lot of mistakes and they will be especially costly because you will be at risk because of the car ”.
Another great aspect of the track is the complex of turns under the barrier at the end of the circle.
As you exit Turn 13, following the long right loop around the Beach Club, the whole nature of the circle changes as you approach chic under fire.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13
Photo: Jerry Andre / Drawings of motorsport
Things slow down and narrow down considerably, with increasing movement to try to almost wipe the inner wall and jump over the curbs on the chicane that appears out of nowhere.
Then, at the exit, there is an exit for the left descent that will take you to the long final straight.
The section really seems outrageous with smooth high-speed performance on the rest of the lap – and it’s no surprise that drivers don’t really like it because it’s annoying and buggy.
But this is the exact point of the sequence. It was a slow zone of the track, which not only causes driver errors before a long straight, but also requires much softer tuning – thus forcing a compromise in terms of drivers who want better tuned to high speed or low speed stuff.
As Miami track designer Clive Bowen says: “We had to make sure we had a race track that had enough of Jekyll and Hyde faces, that it was mostly sites with changing prices and a lot of traction that required a soft adjustment to the car , then some super-speed sections where you want to have a tough setup to get the best airport performance and thus lateral traction through corners.
“The sequence from turn 13 to 16 is where we tuck the needle under the overpasses. Going into turn 14, you won’t see the top of turn 15 until you find yourself on top of turn 14. This is what we call the “error generator”, so the opportunity for drivers to take a seat because someone ahead is transmitted is quite high ”.
In the narrow section under the barrier there are cunning chicanes
Photo by Jerry Andre / Drawings of motorsport
Seeing the track next to Meylander, a man who could become the head at some point in Sunday’s Grand Prix, it’s no surprise that drivers are gearing up for a far from easy day – especially when the track is so dirty offline.
Sergio Perez complained on Saturday night: “The race will be challenging. And drivers will make mistakes because we are in this situation. “
But mistakes and not a simple route – this is exactly what can make a good spectacle.