‘It’s pretty much game over’: Norris and Perez raise concerns over Miami GP circuit

Formula 1 is visiting Miami for the first time this weekend, but the track is evidently not to everyone's liking.

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Lando Norris and Sergio Perez have both been critical of the track surface at the Miami Grand Prix, indicating that the lack of grip away from the racing line will make wheel-to-wheel action difficult.

Carlos Sainz and Nicholas Latifi both collided heavily with the barrier in Florida as they lost control of their respective cars, and Max Verstappen had a scrape with the wall that saw him sit out a large chunk of FP1.

There has been no shortage of anticipation ahead of the inaugural race in Miami Gardens, but Norris, who put 46 laps on the board on Friday and managed P6 in FP2, suggested that something needs to be done to improve the longevity of the track in its prime state before tyre marbles make it unsustainably slippery.

“It’s extremely tricky,” he said.

“It’s very bumpy in some areas which is maybe not quite what we were expecting and I think [not] what a lot of people were expecting.

“I think everyone was expecting it to be very smooth and beautiful but it’s not. The surface is very tricky as well.

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“You go off line anywhere and it’s pretty much game over, you spin and you end up in the wall so it’s punishing let’s say.

“That’s why you see quite a few people ending up in the barriers. It’s a bit weird, like if you go off line anywhere it’s just terrible so I’m hoping they can do something a little bit better, I don’t know what.

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“I think 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.”

The transience of a clean racetrack in Miami makes it difficult for the 22-year-old to see how the racing spectacle is going to be an enjoyable one.

“It was the same in P2, it started better but as soon as there’s a little bit of marbles, you go off line and it’s terrible so I feel like it’s not going to be great for racing now.”

Meanwhile, Perez put 41 laps together on Friday as he finished FP2 in third behind George Russell and Charles Leclerc.

The Mexican echoed Norris’ thoughts that the absence of grip on alternate lines is concerning, and he too is not sure if the racing will be as spectacular this weekend as we have seen in the opening rounds as a result.

“I am really disappointed there is no grip off-line. It’s a shame because I think the racing will be bad due to that. As soon as you try to go off-line, there is no grip,” he added.

“It’s wet on that side. It feels very gravelly. Racing will be hard.”

As for performance, the 32-year-old, having seen a perhaps surprising upturn in form from Mercedes in practice, cannot prognosticate where Red Bull will be relative to their competitors.

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“I think it’s going to be an interesting race. We are all in the same boat. We don’t know exactly where we are,” he said.

Both Perez and Norris finished the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on the podium last time out as the Mexican sealed a Red Bull one-two behind Max Verstappen while the 22-year-old capitalised on a mistake by Leclerc to finish third.