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Report: F1 Miami Grand Prix Misses Key Contract Deadline For 2019 Race

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The clock is ticking on a proposed Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix after a contract deadline was missed on July 1.

According to the Forbes report, Liberty Media is waiting on progress in Miami before releasing the 2019 schedule. Races apparently locked in include the first seven races between March and June, including Australia, Bahrain, China, Azerbaijan, Spain, Monaco and Canada. The season-ending race in 2019 slated for Abu Dhabi on Dec. 1 is also said to be a lock.

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"The rest of the calendar depends on whether the planned Grand Prix in Miami takes place," reported German media outlet Auto Motor und Sport.

There are several issues with Liberty's plans in Miami, not the least of which is the fact that the contract was not signed by the July 1 deadline set by the city.

According to Forbes, Miami’s city commissioners voted to negotiate with F1 for a 10-year race contract that was to begin in 2019. A resolution passed in May directed the city manager to finalize an agreement between the city of Miami and Formula One World Championship Limited no later than July 1, 2018.

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Formula 1 manager of commercial operations Sean Bratches says there isn’t a city on the planet that better aligns with the sport's values than Miami as talks open with Liberty Media about ...

"As of right now a contract has not been finalized," Stephanie Severino, of Miami's communications office, told Forbes.

If the deal in fact comes together, it seems an October race date is likely, on a 2019 calendar that will once again probably host 21 races. Included in that 2019 schedule will again be a race at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. That annual race began in 2012, and COTA is contracted to host a race through 2021. This week, COTA owner Bobby Epstein told ESPN that he expects the Austin race to remain on the calendar beyond 2021 but that he is hoping for a more cost-effective deal.

"Well, we're still trying to deal with a Bernie Ecclestone contract which has its own nuances and challenges," Epstein said. "We're both -- F1 management and COTA -- trying to sort through some of those contract challenges that come from accelerators. The hope of a customer is always that the price of a product becomes less expensive as time goes on."

Regardless of Miami's status, at least one team executive says he doesn't expect the Formula 1 schedule to grow beyond 21 races.

"The conversation around 22-23 races is, I think, a few years out," said McLaren boss Zak Brown. "But if you put another two or three races on the calendar -- a Miami, a New York, another one in Asia, some big markets -- it's pretty attractive commercially to our partners."

 

h/t: ForbesESPN

Mike Pryson

Mike Pryson - Mike Pryson covered auto racing for the Jackson (Mich.) Citizen Patriot and M-Live Media Group from 1991 until joining Autoweek as online motorsports editor In 2012. Promoted to motorsports editor in 2015.

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Source : http://autoweek.com/article/formula-one/report-f1-miami-grand-prix-misses-key-contract-deadline-2019-race

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