As Formula 1’s caravan arrives in the United States, we have amid us the prospect of witnessing a show stopping Grand Prix.
As one of North America’s incredibly noted party destinations prepares to host a Grand Prix, it may not be wrong to suggest that the party in Miami this weekend is not at some fancy bar or opulent nightclub- but at the Miami International Autodrome.
The organisers, the assembling public and the fanfare anticipate Formula 1’s latest venue to economic impact that could perhaps touch north of 400 million USD.
Which is just one of the reasons why the tickets to what is perhaps a red carpet Grand Prix racing event in Hollywood lingo are going for a thousand dollars each and in some cases, even more.
With an expected gathering of no fewer than 300,000, which will include execs, tourists and avid race fans, the forthcoming Miami Grand Prix is, in a way, the exultation of Formula 1. It’s a sight where F1 throws a fist or triumph in the air, Miami being round five of the 2022 season!
That being told, what could we expect from the race? Let's dive in:
Prediction 1: Charles Leclerc to lead Ferrari’s fightback
At Imola, he spun during the closing stages in a failed bid to catch the Red Bull and would, resultantly, slide outside the top three in the race.
A P6, which was another points finish for the famous Monegasque, was largely perceived as a lost scoring opportunity.
And it truly was, truth be known.
But at Miami, the go-to Ferrari driver will mount a comeback and will go daggers drawn in his battle with Max Verstappen of Red Bull.
Forget not that the lead authors of a brand new era of F1 in 2022 are the lead drivers from Ferrari and Red Bull; the Milton Keynes-based outfit involved in an intricate battle with the Red force from Maranello.
But all of what Charles does on Sunday would rest on his qualifying result. This is where he’ll give it absolutely everything.
Prediction 2: Lewis Hamilton will drive a race to remember
Lewis Hamilton isn’t just a glowing name in Formula 1; he’s a globetrotting superstar whose name is enough to drive packed stands and stadia, not just racing tracks, anywhere in the world.
And while the seven-time world champion hasn’t really gotten off to a fine start at all (as seen thus far), if there’s a place where he’ll be all pumped to execute a recovery drive, then it’ll be Miami.
The legend of the grid, whose thus far only collected a solitary podium- and nothing sensational at all will be keen to bounce back to form at Miami.
This, after all, being a destination he’s always wanted F1 to race besides being in the country where he enjoys a commanding fan base.
Therefore, one reckons - and certainly hopes- that whilst fighting through each of the 3 straights, 3 DRS zones and 19 corners, Hamilton will give nothing shy of his absolute best in emerging with hard-fought points.
In so doing, he could also outscore among the most consistent performers of the 2022 season: his own teammate, George Russell.
Prediction 3: Sainz will return to the top five
Few drivers have endured such a tough run in the existing season and much too frequently other than the famous Spanish driver Carlos Sainz Jr.
The man responsible for leading Ferrari’s resurgence in 2021, a year where he outdrove his teammate Leclerc and that too, in his maiden season with the Scuderia, will be dying to script a memorable Miami race.
Add to that the burning urgency to do so; Sainz DNF’d in the last two Formula 1 Grands Prix, retiring both at Australia followed by Imola.
But on Sunday, where the twin Ferraris will aim to challenge the marauding pace of Red Bull, Carlos will play his part in upping the ante of attack and will register a drive to remember.
One suspects, that a podium finish will not be that big a deal for the man who considers Fernando Alonso his racing idol.
Prediction 4: Haas will excite if not collect tons of points
The only American team on the current grid, Haas will have a lot of expectations to deliver a strong race result at the soon-to-begin Miami Grand Prix.
While there’s no certainty whether the young and dandy Mick Schumacher can open his F1 account this weekend, what’s certain is that Kevin Magnussen, clearly the driver leading Haas’ charge in the midfield will continue to fight.
For someone who’s already scored race finishes such as the valiant P5 at Bahrain, followed by results like the ninth at Saudi Arabia and Imola, the force and with it, glowing form clearly seem to be with Magnussen.
Few other things will please Gunther Steiner as a Haas scoring well within points on Sunday. But for that to happen, he’ll expect K-Mag, as he’s called, to battle an incredibly challenging midfield where the likes of Fernando Alonso, Pierre Gasly and Sebastian Vettel will be eager contestants.