The Miami International Autodrome is set to host its inaugural race weekend, but it’s not just Formula One that will be on track in the 305 – the W Series are also in town for their first race of the season.
All eyes will be on Williams Driver Academy member, and two-time W Series champion, Jamie Chadwick who returns to defend her title, and we caught up with her to get a sense of what drivers and fans alike can expect this weekend.
“There are a few areas where lap time can be made and lost,” Jamie explained, adding: “It really is a track of two halves.
“Maximising the two very long straights will be key, both in terms of how the car is set up and also what we can do behind the wheel – but having good straight-line performance is going to be vital.
“Also, there are two technical sections that are slow speed and quite tricky to pick the best line through, so getting both of those spot on will be pivotal.”
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Despite the Miami International Autodrome being a temporary circuit, it has been built to have a permanent feel, and after driving it on our Grove simulator, Jamie already has her eyes on sections that could prove crucial in qualifying.
“The long left-hander that runs from Turn 7 into Turn 8 looks to be an area where plenty of time could be left on the table to gain, it will just be a case of how much you want to push it through that section.
“Towards the later phase of the lap, Turns 13, 14, 15 and 16 are a very tight run of corners that all lead one after another, with walls all around.
“Naturally that has the feeling of an old-school street track so there isn’t much room for error, but it’s also pretty technical.
“It’s one of those tracks where you’ll have a sense in the cockpit when you’ve done a good lap.
“The T7 to T8 section around the Marina, when you get that right, you’ll know – and it’ll feel pretty good too.
“And, of course, those two long straights both hold a lot of potential lap time.”
Understandably, it is the braking zones at the ends of these straights where Jamie feels most of the moves will be achieved, not just in her two W Series races, but also in the F1 Grand Prix.
“They will be the best places for overtakes this weekend; in the W Series with the slipstreaming effect, I can imagine it will be pretty significant.
“Of the two long straights, the first has got a slight right to left kink in it, but it should still allow us to follow pretty close going into those hard braking zones.
“It will also be a good opportunity for overtaking in Formula One, especially with their DRS – the nature of passing here could well be a bit Baku-esque!”
We’ll be keeping a keen eye on Jamie’s progress in the Magic City throughout the weekend, alongside our F1 coverage.
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