All systems are go for the United States Grand Prix to be run on Nov. 18 at the all-new Circuit of The Americas (COTA), in Texas.
Federation Internacionale de l’Automobile (FIA), the governing body overseeing Formula 1 racing, has given glowing reviews after inspecting the Texas circuit this week.
“This will be a very unique grand prix, (with) a lot of types of corners that will provide a lot of overtaking opportunities,” said Charlie Whiting, FIA’s race director. “The track design is fantastic, the quality of workmanship is excellent and I have no concerns at all.”
The announcement comes as great and welcomed news for COTA. The facility had come under criticism during the construction process and the race was at risk of being cancelled. The had also been problems between F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone and the organizers of the U.S. race. Whiting said final checks will be made on the Monday before the race, but he doesn’t expect any problems as the only work remaining to be completed is largely cosmetic.
“The progress that has been made since the last time I was here is amazing,” he said. “It really is fantastic, everything’s to the highest quality, exactly as we expected.”
The 2012 United States Grand Prix will be the first Formula 1 race held on American soil since 2007.
With the 2013 F1 calendar to be finalized this week, there are growing concerns for a second race in the U.S. next year. The Grand Prix of America was tentatively penciled in to run on a temporary street circuit in New Jersey in June 2013. Ecclestone has repeatedly questioned organizers’ ability to prepare a track to stage the race and has cast doubt on holding that event on the shore of the Hudson River, with a backdrop of New York City.
“The organizers have not complied with the terms and conditions of the contract.” Ecclestone was quoted in BBC Sport, in June, saying the race would likely not take place. “We’ll have to see – I need to go have another look. I’m not quite as sure as they are.”
This week, Ecclestone wavered on whether the race would be left off next year’s race calendar or go ahead as scheduled.
“I think if somebody got behind them it could happen in 2013 because they have come along way with the circuit,” the F1 boss said.