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Miami GP, Formula 1 Mull Moving Race To Prime Time

  • The Miami Grand Prix has "had some discussions" with Formula 1 about staging the race at night to beat the South Florida heat.
  • A move to later in the day would cause time zone complications for F1’s huge international audience.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen driving during the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix.
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

After another successful weekend that saw Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen again take the checkered flag, the Miami Grand Prix is exploring the possibility of starting its Formula 1 race at night.

“We’ve had some discussions about potentially doing that,” said Miami GP managing partner Tom Garfinkel, who is also president and CEO of the Miami Dolphins.

Running the race after the sun goes down would prevent the track from getting too hot in the South Florida climate — the first two editions of the race have been staged at temperatures of more than 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Obviously at this time of year, the weather’s a little unpredictable,” Garfinkel said. “This year is pretty nice so far, and the breezes have helped a lot, but last year was unseasonably hot.”

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However, a move to later in the day would cause complications for F1’s huge international audience.

A night start in the U.S.’s Eastern time zone would mean the race would get underway in the early-morning hours in most of Europe. In England — home base for many F1 teams — a race at 7 p.m. ET race would mean midnight local time.

“There are a lot of factors that go into that, with F1 and television, so we have to weigh all those things up,” said Garfinkel, “but we are certainly open-minded.”

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