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GP Week : Issue 169
The US Grand Prix at Austin is ready to roll with this week’s news that FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting had inspected the track and gave it the Grade I status needed to host a Formula One World Championship event. Final FIA homologation of a circuit must take place no fewer than sixty days prior to the scheduled start of a grand prix weekend, although in recent years allowances have been made at some new circuits. The viability of the 2010 Korean Grand Prix was subject to much rumour and speculation when its homologation date was move further and further back. Whiting had nothing but high praise for the Austin circuit; the first purpose-built Formula One circuit on US soil. “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.” Over the course of his visit, Whiting completed a full track inspection, walking the 3.4 mile circuit and examining every aspect, from the asphalt and kerbing to the guard rails and catch fencing. Having approved the facility for racing, Whiting enthused about the track. “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.” Some cosmetic work still remains to be completed before the F1 circus arrives in Austin in just under two months’ time. Whiting will sign off on the facility for a final time on 12 November. The maiden US Grand Prix at Austin will take place on 18 November. COTA MEETS WITH FIA APPROVAL F1 >>> NEWS as_gpweek_superior.indd 1 9/7/12 1:58 PM as_gpweek_ogov.indd 1 9/12/12 4:43 PM 6 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: