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F1 Academy preview — Miami

Written by Sophie Harvey, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

After almost two months of waiting, F1 Academy returns to our screens in the coming days. If Jeddah was anything to go by, Miami International Autodrome will provide an exciting backdrop for the racing action to resume.

Nerea Martí sits P5 after an eventful weekend in Jeddah; Image Credit - F1 Academy

A little bit about the track…

Accompanying the Formula One Miami Grand Prix, the autodrome provides an all-new addition to the F1 Academy calendar. Having opened in May 2022, this temporary circuit must be reassembled each year. The 19 turns create a 3.363 mile (5.412 km) challenge, navigating the grounds of the Hard Rock Stadium — home to the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.

Whilst there will be plenty of overtaking opportunities, domination has been a recurring word here in F1. Whether it will be the same case in F1 Academy, we’ll have to wait and see. However, if one thing is for sure, its street-track nature leaves very little room for error.

Their visit to Miami will also bring back familiar reminders  for some — the last time an all-female series hit the track here, W Series held the opening round of what would become its final season. Both races concluded with Jamie Chadwick finding the top step, but it was F1 Academy’s Nerea Martí who topped qualifying — can she do it again this time around?

McLaren’s Bianca Bustamante is another driver who has already experienced the Miami International Autodrome; Image Credit - F1 Academy

What to look out for…

Leading on from what I just mentioned, it will be interesting to see how our former W Series candidates fare. To name a few, the likes of Abbi Pulling, Nerea Marti and Chloe Chambers have already taken to this track in very similar machinery.

As the least experienced driver in terms of single-seaters, Lia Block has already expressed this concern by stating: “I think it’s going to be hard with the fact that most of the girls have raced there [Miami] before, so it’s not great for me to not have testing.”

With it already becoming such a talking point, will this additional experience divide the field? Block will be one driver hoping that this won’t be the case, as she sets her sights on scoring her first points of the season.

A person to really keep an eye on will be Doriane Pin — not that you could miss her anyway. The young Parisian will be looking to reclaim her spot at the top of the driver’s standings, or at least narrow the gap between herself and championship leader Pulling.

Last time out, Pin snatched a double victory. As picturesque as it sounds, after a miscommunication, the Mercedes Junior took the chequered flag twice and was demoted to a lacklustre P9 in what was Jeddah’s second race. Whilst this will no doubt fuel her to push harder, can she make up lost ground or will someone else run away with the title?

Then there’s Lola Lovinfosse, entering Miami on terms far from ideal — after causing a collision that ultimately ended Lia Block’s weekend in Jeddah, the Frenchwoman has been handed a five-place grid penalty for this round.

She currently sits P13 in the standings. Whilst the number may be unlucky for some, will she still manage a points-scoring outing under the Floridian skies?

To round things off, watch out for Jessica Edgar’s striking new livery sponsored by American Express, as well as Courtney Crone, this round’s wildcard entry.

Doriane Pin was understandably ecstatic after her victory; Image Credit - F1 Academy

Sophie’s predictions…

It’s without question that Pin made light work of the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, proving to have the edge after a consistently impressive debut. Whilst she did miss the chequered flag, it’s a mistake she certainly won’t make twice.

If you don’t get the gist I’m going for, I would say we’re in for a season full to the brim, with Pin domination. It’s clear she is here for the title, and winning in Miami is the next stepping stone towards clawing back her championship lead. 

That said, Abbi Pulling proved to be incredibly impressive last time she was here — achieving P4 and P6 in each respective race, the Brit still a newcomer to the W Series paddock. With far more expertise under her belt, I think it is easy to conclude that Pulling could provide a real threat to Pin’s parade.

MP Motorsport had a tough weekend in Jeddah, with all three drivers seeming to lack the pace. As a trio of race winners, I also imagine they will be the team to bounce back into the higher points-paying positions in Miami.

Driving in Red Bull colours, Hamda Al Qubaisi will have set her sights on returning to the podium; Image Credit - F1 Academy

Weekend timings (BST):

May 3rd — Friday

Free Practice 1: 15:00

Free Practice 2: 20:20

May 4th — Saturday

Qualifying: 15:25

Race 1: 19:05

May 5th — Sunday

Race 2: 18:05

If you want to follow the action, qualifying and both races will be streamed LIVE on F1 Academy’s official YouTube channel, free of charge. For more information on where to watch in your region, follow the link below:


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