Miami residents 'disrespected and insulted' as mayor rescues F1's plans

Formula 1’s flagging hopes of securing a Miami Grand Prix were given a boost as Miami-Dade County’s mayor Carlos Gimenez issued a rarely used veto against the measures recently brought to try and block the race.

F1 recently announced that a deal had been agreed in principle to host a race at the Hard Rock Stadium, home of the city’s NFL franchise and owned by the race’s chief promoter Stephen Ross.

A plan to stage a race through downtown Miami was scrapped due to overwhelming public opposition, and the new plans have also drawn criticism from Miami Gardens residents and local politicians.

A Commission resolution was passed that would give local authorities more power to prevent the road closures that would be necessary to host the event.

However, Gimenez used his veto power in order to block that, claiming it was done in order to promote greater talks between the races organisers and opponents.

“I remain committed to respecting the residents of Miami Gardens, and I remain committed to finding a way to bring this world-class event to our community,” Gimenez said.

But that has incensed local politicians and residents in Miami Gardens.

City mayor Oliver Gilbert said at a press conference: “We understand we’re part of a great economic ecosystem. We get that. We just want that economic ecosystem to understand that we still live here. Every great event isn’t a great event for us.”

Local residents also spoke alongside Gilbert, including Janice Smith, who lives close to the stadium, which she said already reaches uncomfortable levels of noise when the Dolphins host NFL fixtures there.

She said: “You can’t hear in your house with the Dolphins games already. I feel like we’re being disrespected, insulted, and disregarded.”