Miami Grand Prix has been added to the Formula 1 race schedule for 2022, according to a report from Fox Sports.
The move is part of a push by an American-led consortium known as 24 Hours for Liberty to expand the footprint of the World Endurance Championship, which is dominated by Mercedes and Ferrari, and add an additional, lower-profile series of racing around the world, including some races at the U.S. Grand Prix venue.
“Race dates for the Daytona Prototype class across the FIA World Endurance Championship are exclusively managed by the FIA World Endurance Championship in agreement with the WEC: Intercontinental and Pro Series,” read a press release from Liberty. “In the next F1 season we plan to make further announcements regarding our overall plans for the 2021 season.”
The 2018 FIA 24 Hours of Le Mans, or 24 Hours of Le Mans, took place over the course of the weekend. It’s the highest-profile event in the WEC. The same weekend as the WEC, Toyota Motor Corp. and IMSA Drive for Diversity introduced their own series, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Twenty-two teams entered the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans; two teams left without finishing. The winner of Le Mans, Richard Westbrook, and co-driver Lucas Di Grassi of LeTour, Brazil, edged out Denny Hamlin’s Toyota Team USA and Patrick Pilet’s Audi R8 e-tron quattro and co-driver Lucas di Grassi by 0.28 seconds. Westbrook finished in 3 hours 53 minutes 51.5 seconds.
On May 4, IMSA will host the penultimate round of the race series at Circuit Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. The final race of the series will be held June 9 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.
“This shows how deep the American interest is in sport,” said Teague Williams, the head of IMSA’s Drive for Diversity and one of the organizers of IMSA Drive for Diversity. “In 2021, Ford will bring the Continental GT40,” he said of the all-new GT4-powered car that will compete in the main IMSA series.
Williams said the 2021 WEC season, when Liberty Formula One moves from Europe to the United States and supports the Automobile Club de l’Ouest 24 Hours of Le Mans, will be “a bit of a shocker.”
The last time there was a title fight in the Le Mans 24 Hours was in 2017, when Fernando Alonso had to withdraw from the race with just 2:04 to go in the race. His Renault R18 won that year, but lost to Mario Muzzi’s Peugeot 707 for the third race in a row.
“Le Mans is a culture and it’s not necessarily the most direct route,” Williams said. “Some of the sponsors would like to push for a direct route, as it is so big and so attractive. But ultimately this is one of the broadest and most open series worldwide,” he said.