F1 in 2019: City of Miami Commission approve plans for Miami Grand Prix

The prospect of a 2019 grand prix in Miami has moved a step closer after the City of Miami Commission voted in favour of the proposal.

The approval now enables Emilio Gonzalez, the city manager, to proceed with negotiations with F1’s bosses over hosting a street race in downtown Miami next season.

Gonzalez has been asked to deliver the City of Miami Commission with a host city contract for further evaluation before July 1.

Sean Bratches, F1’s managing director of commercial operations read: “We are very pleased to have received preliminary approval towards bringing a Formula 1 Grand Prix to Miami.

“We recognise that this is only the start of the process and we will immediately get to work with the various community stakeholders, the City of Miami, the Port of Miami, Bayfront Park Management Trust and others, in order to reach a final agreement.

“Formula 1 in Miami represents a fantastic opportunity to bring the greatest racing spectacle on the planet to one of the world’s most iconic cities, and we are delighted that the journey is underway.”

Sky F1's Simon Lazenby and Martin Brundle discuss the big talking points ahead of the Spainish GP.

Images of the proposed circuit were revealed last week by city commissioner Ken Russell, with the race to be run around the city’s port, crossing the Port Boulevard bridge and passing the American Airlines Arena, home of NBA side Miami Heat.

Liberty Media, who took control of F1 in late 2016, have often spoken of their desire to add US “destination cities” to the calendar.

Las Vegas, New York and Los Angeles have all been mooted as other potential targets for F1 races by the sport’s US owners, but a Miami event would be their first official addition to the calendar since succeeding Bernie Ecclestone.

There has never been an F1 race in Miami before, with Austin currently the only US city hosting an event.

The ‘Grand Prix of Miami’ name has been used for several IndyCar and sportscar races since the 1980s, with Formula E most recently holding a street race in the city in 2015.

The exact timing of a Miami Grand Prix is a matter for further discussion between F1, the FIA and the Miami authorities, but if approved at the next stage with Miami-Dade County officials, it is hoped the inaugural race would be in October 2019.

Will Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes make it back-to-back victories at the Circuit de Catalunya? Watch the Spanish GP exclusively live on Sky Sports F1 from May 11-13. Get Sky Sports F1.