Motorsport's governing body has warned prospective grand prix hosts not to expect the same sort of freedom recently allowed to organisers of the Korean Grand Prix when it comes to meeting circuit inspection schedules.
Speaking after a preliminary visit to the site of the proposed United States Grand Prix in Austin, FIA senate president Nick Craw confirmed that it was unlikely that any other circuit would be allowed to run quite as close to the wire as Korea International Circuit, which escaped sanction after only passing its final inspection less than two weeks before practice began on Friday.
The Yeongam venue had been due for its final checks some 90 days before the event, as per usual FIA practice, but a combination of delays caused by a heavy monsoon season and impending public holidays saw Whiting agree to postpone the visit. Amid rumours that the race weekend would never actually happen, a concerted effort to get the circuit ready resulted in the unprecedented decision to send Whiting to Korea on his way back from the Japanese Grand Prix and, despite a few rough edges still being visible, the green light was finally given for the inaugural grand prix.
Craw, however, emphasised that Korea had been a special case, and the practice of delaying final inspection was highly unlikely to be repeated when the likes of India, the USA and Russia are due to be cleared for use.
"Is that going to happen again? No," he told the Austin American Statesman
newspaper, "That probably protects everybody's interest a little better than running right up against the event and saying 'golly gee, we've got it wrong'."
Despite his assertions, however, Craw did admit that he would call for the Austin project to be given a little leeway should meeting the 90-day deadline prove difficult, as the construction timetable is already looking tricky ahead of a proposed place on the 2012 calendar.