Bobby pins, if you ask anyone who likes to pin hair out of their face and eyes, are a good way to keep things under control. But bobby pins are also really easy to lose. Luckily, I think I’ve found all of the bobby pins I’ve lost in my lifetime. They were used to layout the proposed circuit for the Miami Formula One race.
The Miami F1 race, part of a potential multi-year city deal with F1 that would start in October of next year, isn’t confirmed yet. But that hasn’t stopped planers from getting into the details. City commissioner Ken Russell posted a photo of what could be the map for the Miami Grand Prix street course in downtown.
The map includes two huge straightaway sections over the water, which could be a nightmare for wrecks or debris cleanup depending on how F1 approaches it.
It takes a second to realize what we’re looking at here, because the map looks more like an unfinished game of connect the dots than an actual race course. So, here are a couple of clearer rough sketches based off of the map Russell tweeted (rough as in traced for photo clarity, not measured inch by inch):
Those look a little better, but still hauntingly resemble the ghosts of bobby pins past. (Some bobby pins get deformed along the way, alright?) The course is so tight that it looks like a drag strip with a couple of harsh braking zones, and it has so many turns at 90-degree angles that cars will probably have to yield for oncoming traffic several times a lap.
A tight course isn’t good for passing, which is exactly what F1 desperately needs more of and is trying to encourage. There’s also just not a lot of functionality—while street tracks don’t have to have the same large runoff areas as permanent facilities do in F1, a wreck in the middle of the bridge section could cause a huge delay. That’s because there are currently no places to pull the cars off and out of the way of the field, except for on either end of the bridge.
Maybe this hairpin-filled maze will morph into a better layout before the race potentially happens next October. Maybe it won’t. Maybe the track layout will miraculously be good as is.
But if you’ll excuse me, I need to go make some calls and retrieve all of my lost bobby pins from the people who designed this race track.