The inaugural Miami Grand Prix is taking place this weekend at a new venue built around the Hard Rock Stadium which is the home of NFL side Miami Dolphins.

The new circuit is mostly high-speed with a number of long straights combined with a tight, twisty section of corners which gives teams a challenge when setting up their cars in terms of what downforce levels they should run.

Giving his opinion on America’s new F1 circuit, Hamilton described it as “bumpy” and admitted he wasn’t a fan of the tight complex of corners between Turns 12 and 15.

“Bumpy, It’s kinda crazy you think people in this day and age should be able to make a flat road relatively easy but it was fricking big big bumps in so many places where the track joins up somewhere else, don’t know if they’ll be able to grind it at night and improve it, otherwise the track is quite nice to drive, except for the chicane, Hamilton said on Friday in Miami. 

“I don’t want to put that quote out there but I’ll hold onto that. It’s so tight, reminds me of being at the B&Q car park when I was six or seven years old, in the go-kart, going in between cars, it’s a corner that maybe in future they can remove that one and it'll improve the track.”

Concerns about overtaking

Despite the long straights and heavy braking zones, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez has concerns over whether overtaking will be possible on race day.

On paper, the track configuration should mean there’s plenty of overtaking with three DRS zones.

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However, Perez believes racing other cars will be difficult due to there being a lack of grip off the racing line.

“It's really disappointing that there's no grip off-line, racing will be bad because of that,” Perez explained. “As soon as you go off-line, there is no grip, it's done. it's wet on that side sometimes off line, feels very gravely off line, racing will be hard.”

Lando Norris shared similar concerns to Perez, pointing towards how bumpy the track surface in which the teams weren’t expecting going into this weekend.

“It's extremely tricky,” Norris added. “It's very bumpy in some places, which we were not expecting. I think everyone was expecting it to very smooth and beautiful. But it's not.”

Several drivers were caught out by the lack of grip during the first two practice sessions.

Valtteri Bottas lost control of his Alfa Romeo at Turn 7, forcing him half of FP1 and then the entirety of second practice as the team repaired his car.

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Carlos Sainz then shunted his Ferrari with just over 30 minutes remaining in FP2, while a number of drivers including Perez and Sebastian Vettel had spins during the day.

“The surface is very tricky as well, you go off-line anywhere and it's pretty much game over, you spin, you end up in the wall. It's punishing. That's why you've seen a lot of people ending up in the barriers,” Norris added. “It's a bit weird. If you go off-line, it's just terrible. I'm hoping they can do something a little bit better. I don't know what. When they clean the track, it helps. Like this morning there was a lot of marbles and stuff and as soon as you went off-line it was game over.

“In FP2 it started better but then as soon as there was a little bit of marbles, it was terrible. It's not going to be great for racing. It's like one line you've got to stick to and that's it. It's restricting, you can't do many differences compared to other people so it limits you a little bit.

“That's the negatives. The positives are it's still a fun track. It's challenging, it's difficult, it's punishing, it's still a fun-ish track to drive.”