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Charlie Whiting has cleared Austin’s Circuit of the Americas as fit to host the returning United States Grand Prix. The first F1 race in the country since 2007 will stage the penultimate event before the 2012 season meets its climax in Brazil.
On Tuesday, the FIA technical delegate and Race Director declared the track ‘Grade 1’, having inspected the facilities and walked the 20-turn layout clad with reflective overalls and a hard hat. Like with most modern-day Formula 1 circuits, it has been designed by German Hermann Tilke who is the preferred architect of FOM’s Bernie Ecclestone.
“Everything that I’ve seen so far has been absolutely first class and the progress that’s been made since the last time I was here is amazing,” Whiting commented. “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.”
The track, which is a mixture of other circuits such as Silverstone and Istanbul Park, is already attracting attention because of its corner sequences. One of the most exciting viewing points is expected to be Turn 1, which rises uphill before pitching left.
“There are three or four corners that are very likely to see overtaking,” Whiting added. “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.”
The 2012 Unites States Grand Prix will be held on 18 November, just one week before F1 races at Interlagos. The last American Formula 1 venue was Indianapolis.
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