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Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Motor racing: F1 boss says Miami race faces fresh hurdles

October 31, 2019

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Formula One has hurdles to overcome if it is to have a race in Miami in May 2021, the sport’s chairman Chase Carey said on Wednesday after new planning obstacles emerged.

The Miami Herald reported that Miami-Dade County commissioners passed a resolution on Tuesday enabling them to prohibit road closures linked to racing events in or near residential areas.

They also agreed to a public hearing on whether to allow races near the Miami Dolphins Hard Rock stadium, the proposed venue.

The newspaper reported, however, that the Dolphins organization had a legal right to host events on the site under an agreement with the county and mayor Carlos Gimenez could veto the new measures.

“We had a vote yesterday that created new issues for us to try and address … we do have hurdles to overcome now to put the race in Miami,” Carey told a Formula One investor meeting.

Miami would be a second grand prix in the United States after the round in Austin, Texas, that is being held this weekend.

Formula One and local organizers in April abandoned plans to hold the Miami race in the downtown area after businesses and residents objected.

The new stadium plans for the race, and an agreement in principle, were announced earlier this month but have also been met with local opposition.

Next year’s calendar is set to expand to a record 22 races and Carey said the Liberty Media-owned sport had no ‘magic number’ in mind for further expansion.

“I think it’s quality over quantity. When we add a race in a place, we want to make sure it really brings something special to the sport,” he said, adding that Asia and America were the main growth regions.

“I think we do feel we still have a little capacity, although if I went and asked a team or a driver they are going to end up saying they’d rather have 21 to 22 or 23 (races).”

Formula One teams are due to vote on rule changes for 2021 on Thursday and Carey said he was optimistic they would go through.

The vote will be on three of five elements — the financial, technical and sporting rules that include a cost cap and aerodynamic restrictions.

Two other elements not being voted on concerned agreements with teams on governance and profit sharing. Carey said more discussion with the 10 teams was needed on those.

(Writing by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Peter Rutherford)

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