F1 drivers take aim at 'go-kart' Miami chicane

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F1 front-runners Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen have called on Miami to modify the new venue's chicane which they believe isn't suited for F1's new-generation cars.

Overall, F1 gave Miami's international Autodrome a thumbs up, praising the design and environment of the 5.4km and 19-corner track laid out on the massive car park surrounding the Miami Dolphin's Hard Rock Stadium.

However, after the opening day of running in Southern Florida, the track's surface quickly emerged as a major source of criticism from the field of drivers. But Miami's promoter has promised to improve the venue's asphalt for 2023.

But that's unlikely to be the only major change that Miami will need to undertake for next year's event, with the circuit's Turn 14-15 chicane also targeted by several drivers after last Sunday's race.

The complex of corners was labeled a "mistake generator" by Miami's architects who also admitted to purposefully designing the tight left-right chicane to slow cars down ahead of the 90-degree Turn 16 that is void of a run-off area.

"I think it’s a chicane that with this generation of cars that are heavy, that are wide, just when you go around those two apex kerbs, it almost feels like you need a bit of luck to get around it and you sometimes get it on a weird angle and the car bounces a lot," said Ferrari’s Sainz.

"It’s a corner that is just a bit unnatural and it’s a corner that I think it can be easily manipulated to look a bit different and create a better combination, you know.

"It’s a new track that you’re always going to go through these phases and we’re already in touch with FOM, with Ross [Brawn] and his team to actually sort it out and put together a better piece of circuit."

Verstappen also hopes the chicane, or 'Mickey Mouse stuff' as McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo called it, can somehow be expanded

"I think track-wise, we can improve a few areas," said the Red Bull driver.

"The chicane is a bit of a tricky combination. I think if I would have been in a go-kart, it would be a nice chicane to take, but not in an F1 car like we have at the moment.

"I remember in the four laps I did on Friday, I almost knocked myself out because I hit the first kerb and your head just bounced from left to right at least five, six times, but really bad.


"If you just take it a tiny bit too much, just because it's so long, so wide, so stiff and super heavy that little kerb what it is, it's just not made for it to be honest.

"So, maybe we have to change the kerb layout already, that it's a bit more of a progressive ramp and it looks a bit nicer to go over.

"Maybe that helps already. But yeah, it's so slow and I think our cars look way better if it's a bit more of a flowing combination."

Championship leader Charles Leclerc was a bit of a dissenting voice among his leading colleagues, saying that he "actually liked the choice", although he admitted that the rapid succession of turns didn't improve the racing action.

"Also for visibility it’s quite difficult once you have a car in front because you need to be so precise on the kerbs, as mentioned already," he said.

"That makes it even more difficult to follow."

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