The ongoing saga of the Formula One Grand Prix in Miami has been truly mindblowing. With an initial design that looked truly horrible followed by a delay and a relocation, it would be easy to assume the event just isn’t happening. But... it might actually happen. Even if it might get sued first.
To understand what’s next in this very complicated story, we have to step back and look at the wider picture. As with pretty much any large event that takes place near other human beings, local residents near the Miami Dolphins Hard Rock stadium are righteously pissed off that a loud race is even being considered. I have a feeling the Miami-Dade County Commission meetings have been hell on earth.
Basically, the county has been back-and-forth about whether to allow this race to take place. A vote on Wednesday night, though, finally defeated the last piece of legislation that could prevent the Grand Prix from taking place, as the Miami Herald reports:
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez backed the plan by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross to bring an F1 Grand Prix to Hard Rock each May, and in November vetoed a prior [County Commissioner Barbara] Jordan resolution designed to stymie the race plans. He was ready to veto Jordan’s second piece of anti-F1 legislation on Wednesday, which would have required city or county approval of a race already allowed by Miami-Dade zoning rules for the stadium.
Ever since the Dolphins stadium was built, it’s been hosting football games, tennis matches, concerts, and more, forcing residents in the area to suffer through the plague of tourists and sports fans. Shutting down a ton of public streets in order to spend three days running loud-ass cars around in circles was the last straw. This battle against the GP has taken all forms: noise complaints, issues with traffic congestion, air pollution, and more.
But the strictly anti-GP crowd is not going to back down without a fight. From Racer:
Commissioner Barbara Jordan’s attempted to push through anti-F1 legislation that would have required Miami Gardens’ approval in order to host the race, targeting Hard Rock Stadium zoning rules that already allow for such an event. When that legislation failed in front of the County Commission, Jordan issued a lawsuit against the Miami Dolphins and Formula 1.
The lawsuit claims the race will violate county and city noise ordinances, while the Dolphins insist that F1 will be quieter than aspects of the recent Super Bowl held at Hard Rock Stadium.
“We filed a lawsuit on behalf of Betty Ferguson, 12 other Miami Gardens residents and the three homeowner’s associations,” attorney Sam Dubbin said.
Jordan was quoted in the Miami Herald as saying, “Formula 1, I don’t think they want this kind of publicity. But they better get ready.” As much as I admire her spirit, I think she’s really underestimating the sheer lack of fucks that F1 gives, along with its ability to just spend so much money wherever it sees fit. Bad press hasn’t stopped F1 from racing in Bahrain or Russia. Bad press hasn’t stopped F1 teams from throwing, say, its tire manufacturer under the bus. Honestly, there wasn’t even a ton of bad press surrounding the Daniel Ricciardo lawsuit.
I think Jordan is completely misunderstanding the sport as a whole. F1 doesn’t really care about that “bad press.” A lawsuit isn’t going to stop F1 from plowing ahead and doing whatever it wants.
If this is the last thing standing in the way of the F1 race going on, I have to say... it might be time to start getting excited about the Miami GP.