Formula One could host a grand prix in Miami as soon as next year, according to a tweet from Dutch website Ziggo Sport F1. The outlet claims the Miami race could replace the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, known for its great racing and also plenty of controversy about the country it’s raced in.
The website tweeted the rumor with a video, saying only that “this could be the last GP in Baku, next year to Miami” in a text translation via Twitter. Twitter prevents the video from being viewed in the U.S., so Jalopnik couldn’t watch it to see if there were more details on where Ziggo Sport got the information from.
While the rumor seems to be loosely reported on Ziggo Sport’s end, it could very well end up happening—Miami has been a big contender for another U.S. race since F1’s new American owner Liberty Media took over a couple of years ago. Liberty Media was reportedly scouting locations for a street race in December, a live F1 demo in Miami was in the plans for 2018 and rumors about Miami being added to the calendar in 2019 have gotten more common since March.
F1’s licensing arm also filed trademarks for the “Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix” and the “Formula 1 Grand Prix of Miami” with the World Intellectual Property Organization on Nov. 7 of last year, which are still pending. That’s likely more of a just-in-case move than a solid indication that F1 is coming to Miami, since its licensing division also filed trademarks for a New York Grand Prix and Las Vegas Grand Prix on that same day last year. F1 also filed for trademarks of a Denmark and Danish Grand Prix earlier in 2017, with a race reportedly in the works for 2020.
So, yeah, F1 has the rights to all of those races if it wants them, but it’s up in the air when or if they’ll ever be used. Jalopnik has reached out to F1 representatives for comment about the potential for the Miami date to replace Azerbaijan on the calendar next year, and will update this story if we hear back.
Update, May 29 at 9:10 a.m. ESPN reports that the Azerbaijan Grand Prix organizers denied the original report that their race will be dropped for the Miami race, saying they have a 10-year contract with F1 and that five of those years are binding. Baku F1 promoter Arif Rahimov told ESPN he doesn’t know “how this rumor got spread, because it made no sense from the beginning.”