While one Grand Prix in America feels the wrath of Bernie, the other finds itself in the FIA’s good books. Charlie Whiting, F1 race director, was recently on site in Austin to inspect the Circuit of the Americas and he’s given the new 5.47km track the thumbs up.
This is a good thing, not the least because there’s only 52 days until the cars are due to roar into action. But also because it hasn’t always been plain sailing for Austin organisers either.
In granting the Austin track the Grade 1 rating it needs to be signed off Whiting said, “Everything that I’ve seen so far has been absolutely first class, and the progress that’s been made since the last time that I was here is amazing.
“The guys have done an awesome job—it really is quite fantastic! It’s built to the highest quality, exactly as we expected, and I’ve got absolutely no complaints whatsoever.”
Whiting is also hopeful that the circuit will see plenty of overtaking action. “There are 3-4 corners that are very likely to see overtaking,” he said. “If you look at Turn 1, you’ll see that the turns have been designed so that they’re extremely wide and the apex is very short. It’s a very modern approach to slow corners where we hope overtaking will take place. So I’m very confident it will work well.
“Turn 1 is awesome! It’s the only word I can think of to describe it, and I think drivers and teams coming here for the first time will say the same thing.”