F1 breathe a sigh of relief as judge returns ruling on Miami GP lawsuit from residents

Formula One cancels Russian Grand Prix following invasion of Ukraine

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The inaugural Miami Grand Prix has officially been cleared to go ahead next month after the the residents’ protest was dismissed by the judge. The race was announced last year and has been embroiled in controversy since, with locals consistently trying to ensure the Florida event will not go ahead.

The Miami Grand Prix race weekend is set to run May 6-8, when it will become F1’s second venue in the United States after The Circuit of the Americas in Texas – with Las Vegas joining as the third from next year onwards. However, many Florida residents have been opposed to the race on the grounds of ‘intolerable’ noise pollution since it was announced in April 2021.

With just a few weeks to go until the race goes ahead, final preparations are taking place around the Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium with the track being set up. However, a lawsuit from Miami Gardens residents, led by former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Betty Ferguson, attempted to block the staging of the event, as reported by the Miami Herald. 

The residents’ lawsuit is based on the idea that the noise from the race would cause ‘severe disruption and physical harm’ to residents of Miami Gardens while the race was going ahead. After acknowledging new evidence, Judge Alan Fine did not rule in favour of the local population.

According to Motorsport.com, he declared the noise damage was preventable by the residents and that the extent of the damage was based on conjecture. Ultimately, residents didn’t present their case based on real figures.

The lawsuit had quoted an engineering firm’s prediction that noise of up to 97 decibels for homes within 2.5 miles of the circuit would be heard, with the firm likening the increase to the sound levels produced by a chainsaw. The noise pollution breaches the city’s noise ordinance for a bedroom community, and the lawyer requested the judge to block the race from going ahead on those grounds.

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While Judge Fine refused to rule out a larger investigation after the event to measure noise damage, it appears the Miami Grand Prix will be staged for the first time in 2022. Formula 1 will travel to the United States after racing in Imola this weekend.

The Miami Grand Prix will stay true to the glitzy area and offer a number of entertainment opportunities for spectators. The event will see the construction of a temporary beach club of nearly 24,000 square feet including pools and luxury cabanas.

The 22-race F1 2022 campaign – which is expected to return to a record 23 races in the near future once a Russian Grand Prix replacement is found – continues with the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on April 24.

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