FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting has given the Circuit of the Americas a provisional pat on the back after visiting the nascent Austin facility in the wake of the Canadian Grand Prix.
After a troubled conception, dogged by financial wrangling and delayed by unhelpful weather conditions around the Texan state capital, the 3.4-mile circuit - at the heart of a bigger multi-motorsport facility - is gradually taking shape, with buildings and other infrastructure now springing up around the track, which itself is rapidly being covered in layers of asphalt ahead of its scheduled world championship debut in mid-November.
Whiting made the journey south from Montreal to assess the progress being made, and left with positive views on the work already done and that being carried out.
"It is clear that the significant resources Circuit of the Americas has committed to completing this facility on time and to FIA specifications is making a difference," Whiting told Reuters
, "The more than 500 construction workers on site daily are making great progress, and I plan to return to Austin at the end of August for an update. I believe Circuit of the Americas has the ability to put on a great show and spectacular grand prix in its inaugural year.
American racing legend Mario Andretti was recently confirmed as an ambassador for the facility, whose circuit boasts several elevation changes - and total height difference of 133 feet - in its 17 turns, and the 1978 world champion met with Whiting and other influential individuals at last weekend's Canadian GP. Whiting, who is charged with inspecting all new circuits before they can be admitted to the F1 calendar, will return for his final check on its preparation on 25 September, 60 days before the return of the United States Grand Prix after a five-year absence.