Miami GP gets more time as Mayor reveals of Homestead talks
The organisers continue to face objections but Mayor gets more time.
The F1 Miami GP gets a lifeline after the veto by Mayor Carlos Gimenez stayed on in a fresh meeting of City Commission, where talks about Homestead was revealed.
After the plans for Downtown Miami was scrapped due to the organisers losing out to the residents, F1 started looking for alternative venues to stage the grand prix. The new Miami GP venue proposal then came through Miami Dolphins owner, Stephen Ross.
The idea proposed was to stage the race around the Hard Rock Stadium, which is the home of the Dolphins NFL team. A proposed layout was also revealed with photos, but the revolt against the F1 Miami GP continued on as the Miami Gardens residents raised their voice.
A resolution was eventually heard in Miami-Dade County after a principal agreement was confirmed by F1. The hearing had the usual discussions related to road closure and also pollution, such as air and noise due to the grand prix.
The group of commissioners voted against the Miami GP taking place even in Miami Gardens area but it was not an unanimous decision. Mayor Gimenez then used his veto power and needed a minimum of 8-5 margin in his favour for the talks to continue.
A fresh hearing took place on Tuesday to decide if the talks will continue or the commissioners will nullify the Mayor's veto. After a lengthy discussion, the commissioners eventually voted in favour of the Mayor's veto by 7-6 margin.
This was a change from the last vote where F1 lost the case by 8-5 margin. In the discussions, the Mayor revealed about talks of staging the grand prix at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which hosts NASCAR races and has hosted IndyCar and GT races as well.
The discussion on Homestead took place last week itself where both F1 and Ross backed out of the plan as they felt the track will need more than three to four years to be ready and will need more than 250 million US dollars for any renovation work.
The commissioners who are against the Gardens as venue, feels that the Homestead option should still be looked into more detail. The current idea is to run around the Hard Rock Stadium with a definite layout not certain as it largely depends on the discussions.
It now is to see how they find a common ground as the residents along with few commissioners are in full force to not let the F1 race happen on the grounds of road closure and noise/air pollution – even if they plan to stage the grand prix within the stadium area.
The fresh statement from Tom Garfinkel, Vice Chairman/CEO of Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium on Tuesday, stated: "Along with F1, we are encouraged the County Commission sustained the Mayor's veto.
"As we have done for all our events at Hard Rock Stadium, and as F1 has done in every city that hosts a race, we will continue to work with the Mayor and the community to make a F1 Miami GP a huge success for all of Miami-Dade County.
"It includes the residents of Miami Gardens. We will work very hard to address community concerns in a meaningful way, mitigate any conveniences or disruptions to local residents, and create an event we can all be proud of."
[Image courtesy: Homestead-Miami Speedway] [Note: This story was also written by me on FormulaRapida.net]