Miami International Autodrome
The best grandstands at the Miami Grand Prix are a far cry from the typical street circuit when it comes to the spectator experience. Despite the urban setting, the Miami circuit is open and flowing. There are some tantalising grandstands that offer wide, open views and a variety of corners. There are no completely sheltered grandstands but all have shaded upper rows. These are well worth snapping up to survive Miami’s intense heat.
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These grandstands are the place to be for the tumult into the first corner. And after the ever-exciting first lap, the excitement doesn’t end there.
The tight corner, coming after the long straight is the perfect recipe to encourage overtaking and in 2022 this is where most of the on track moves took place. That included Verstappen passing Leclerc for the lead of the race as well as a poorly judged move on Vettel by his younger countryman Mick Schumacher.
What’s more, fans here can see the pitlane exit and witness first-hand the nail-biting conclusions to race strategy battles.
The two grandstands here are among the most popular in Miami and for good reason. If you’re wondering which is better, the views are quite different and each has its pros and cons.
Turn 1 Grandstand North is parallel to the main straight. Turning to the right, you’ll be able to see a long way up the straight, taking in the pit garages and the starting lights. The view is distant though so this alone is no reason to choose these seats over those in the neighbouring stand.
The long view up the straight though means that fans sitting here will see any overtakes in full, not just the completion of the move. T1 North has the edge over its eastern counterpart in this respect. But the prevalence of debris fencing could mean you won’t be quite so chuffed with the view when looking back at your photos.
Turn 1 Grandstand East excels in all the ways T1 North does not. Even from lower rows, the view is largely fence-free. A fact that together with the angle of the cars will make for some impressive shots.
The trade-off, you could say is that the pack only comes into view just before the apex of turn 1. You’ll have a great view of any overtakes that happen here but for the approach to the corner, you’ll have to keep an eye on the giant screen.
Opposite the pit and paddock complex, the Hard Rock Stadium towering over it, is Miami’s Start / Finish Grandstand. The main grandstand at any Grand Prix will appeal to fans looking for a peak into the pits and are prime seats for the weekend’s ceremonial goings-on.
From here you can peer into your favourite team’s garage and see how many famous faces you can spot. On Sunday these are the best seats to observe the race build-up as teams on the grid prepare for the start. In the race you’ll witness lightning-fast pit-stops, some no doubt resulting in important changes of position.
The top 3 qualifiers are interviewed here on track on Saturday (Friday on a Sprint weekend) and you’ll hear from the first 3 finishers after the race, live from parc ferme. But if you’re looking for the podium celebrations you’re out of luck. The trophy presentation in Miami is on a podium erected at the south wall of the Hard Rock Stadium and won’t be visible from here.
The Start / Finish Grandstand delivers on just about every front but is rarely a place to see exciting on-track action. Giant screens will show you all the action elsewhere on track but that’s about as close to seeing an overtake as fans here will get.
Welcome to Miami’s inland marina, where between track sessions you can delight in the painted-on water and imagine you’re in Monaco.
The Marina Grandstands at the sweeping, multi-apex curve of turns 6, 7 and 8 offer the best view of F1 cars taking on this medium-high speed section.
It’s a great vantage point to appreciate the tremendous grip and downforce of a Formula 1 car. It’s an uncommon place for over-takes though which is partly what makes it an over-looked grandstand by many fans.
But the grandstand is something of a sleeping giant. While it might not be a flagship Miami grandstand, it doesn’t have flagship pricing either. For anyone with a midrange budget, this one is a winner.
Lower rows are mercifully unaffected by fencing but go for a seat higher up for a more expansive look at this impressive view.
Perhaps nothing screams ‘Miami Grand Prix’ more than a beach club conjured up in a suburb of Miami, 10 miles from the nearest salt water.
The Beach area, with its mini, stadium-like section also happens to be party central on race weekend. Bag yourself seats in one of these grandstands to enjoy Miami’s rambunctious crowd and feed on that infectious energy!
Track views won’t disappoint either. After turn 1, the sharp braking zone for turn 11 is the most common overtaking point at the circuit. It’s where George Russell made a memorable move on Lewis Hamilton in the 2022 Miami GP.
Some fans may find these grandstands uncomfortable though. For one, the Beach Grandstands come with bleacher-style benches rather than the moulded plastic seats found elsewhere. To make matters worse, their light-coloured surfaces can get very hot in direct sunlight.
The South Beach Grandstand is located at the end of the long back straight that feeds into turn 11. Choose a seat in this grandstand to be in the best spot to see cars decelerate from about 330 to under 100km/h faster than you can say Piña colada.
The North Beach Grandstand is host to an enormous wave of humanity that curves around turn 12. The view can vary depending on which end of this enormous grandstand you’re seated. Try and get seats closer to turn 11 for the best chance of seeing overtakes.
The Turn 18 Grandstand features one of the broadest views at the Miami Grand Prix circuit and the most diverse set of track conditions. Grab a seat here and you’ll see F1 cars at high speed, low speed, under heavy braking, acceleration, in slow corners, fast corners… well you get the idea.
And get a load of that thrilling atmosphere. Well okay, actually that’s one area where this grandstand falls short. This part of the circuit can feel a bit sterile and lacks those good-time party vibes that make the Miami GP so memorable.
It’s clearly the part of the venue where the landscapers hit the budget cap and had to put their tools back in the shed. You’ll find no fake beach or fake marina here; just a very real and very flat lawn, a few fences and probably some signs inviting you to buy some Saudi Arabian oil.
It’s very un-Miami-like and makes for a bit of an uninspiring backdrop. But, if you can live without the extra decor these are great seats.
I’m Danny, an incurable Formula 1 fan for over 30 years and founder of The F1 Spectator. My aim is to inform and inspire, arming you with helpful tips and advice for your next F1 trip.