The Circuit of the Americas got a big endorsement today. Not the kind of local “thumbs up” you would get from the Austin City council, no this is the FIA’s Race Director and Safety Delegate Charlie Whiting and he’s given the Austin track the green light for the November race.
Whiting says the Circuit of The Americas is up to the FIA standards for the Formula 1™ race this coming November. The inspection focuses on safety and technical aspects that the FIA require to host a Grand Prix event. After a two hour inspection the FIA Safety Delegate was happy with the construction progress and the overall quality of the track.
“The track design is fantastic, the quality of the workmanship is excellent and I have no concerns at all. This will be a very unique Grand Prix, a lot of types of corners that will provide a lot of overtaking opportunities. ” Whiting said.
That’s great news and if you are keeping score at home, the Indian and South Korean circuits were down to the wire for their FIA certification of their track so the news is prompt and is a good sign that things are moving in the right direction.
“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,” Whiting said. “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.”
During his visit, Whiting inspected the now fully paved racing circuit and personally walked the 3.4-mile course to ensure the asphalt met FIA requirements. He inspected kerbing, guard rails, fencing and other safety measures that have been installed around the circuit. He also toured the pit/paddock building, which will house Race Control and serve as his base of operations during the Formula 1™ event. Whiting described the circuit’s permanent structures as “fantastic,” and said he was especially impressed with the design of the circuit’s turns, including its signature Turn 1.
“There are 3-4 corners that are very likely to see overtaking,” Whiting remarked. “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.”