Formula One (F1) has approved a new Miami street circuit Grand Prix to be added to the calendar in 2019
However, reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton has suggested organizers might want to have a rethink before committing fully to the idea.
The Mercedes driver indicated ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix that he had been underwhelmed by what he had seen so far.
“I don’t get why, for example, in golf, all the great golfers design golf courses,” Hamilton told reporters. “You have not got any of the top racing drivers in history having ever designed a race track, and I don’t get it. Not that any of us are designers, but they haven’t asked for our input.”
“Miami is a super-cool place and I was very excited to hear about it, but when I saw the layout I was like, meh. I think it could be a lot more fun,” he added.
Miami city officials voted in favor of the F1 proposal on Thursday and it’s expected the race would be in addition to the U.S. Grand Prix, which has taken place in Austin, Texas, since 2012 and was won by Hamilton on five of those six occasions.
Despite the reservations of the four-time world champion, the unanimous decision of the City of Miami Commission and Miami-Dade County was welcomed by the sport.
“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,” said Sean Bratches, F1’s commercial managing director.
Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell gave a potential sneak preview of the location and layout of the track on social media last week. Most of the course runs through the port area and features a loop around the downtown American Airlines Arena along Biscayne Bay.
However, that seems to have only enhanced Hamilton’s particular reservations.
“You have got two of the longest straights, but maybe when you drive it will be fun,” Hamilton said. “I dread the thought of a street circuit like we had in Valencia, which wasn’t a great street circuit.”
That said, Hamilton still would like to see the idea succeed and would welcome the opportunity to have some input into what would make an exciting track layout.
Formula One Chairman Chase Carey said Wednesday in a Liberty Media conference call with analysts that he hoped and believed the race would happen.
“We think this race could probably be a real signature race for us on the schedule,” he said.