FIA Race Director Michael Masi talks about the races in Miami, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, after his visit to all three F1 venues in the past weeks.
Another American circuit has been added to the Formula 1 calendar from 2022 onward. The Miami GP joins the F1 bandwagon and becomes the youngest sister to her elderly sisters after the Indianapolis and Texan circuits, which will be held on May 8 next year.
The Miami International Autodrome is being built around the Hard Rock Stadium, the home of the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL). Fans around the world and American people are excited about the new addition but there were many speculations on the location the track is shaped in.
Some said it’s a dangerous location and resembles a huge parking lot, looking at the view, but FIA Race Director Masi doesn’t thinks like that after his visit. “It is great, the way they are integrating, I don’t envy them the way they are having to integrate an NFL season between all the work they are doing and compartmentalise the work they are doing at the stadium but I think it is a credit to them, they were doing major work there last week and then had to put everything back to a level for the Dolphins game to happen on the weekend and start again on the following day,” he said to written media.
“Miami is coming along really well. It is a proper circuit, it is far from a race in a car park, considering the level of work that is ongoing there in a number of areas, but the facility is coming along really, really well and it will be something unique.”
Amid the chat with Masi, Williams’ George Russell paid his first visit to Florida after Sunday’s race at COTA to get a firsthand look at the venue that will host the Magic City’s long-awaited Grand Prix – making him the first current F1 driver to be there.
While the Miami race is gearing up for a 2022 debut, Masi had other work at Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which will make its F1 debut later this year. In fact, he made a quick visit to the former much like how he paid a visit to the American venue.
“I was, in Qatar on Sunday before the US GP and in Miami on Tuesday, all are coming along very well,” said Masi. “There are some apex kerbs, exit kerbs that are going in, they are doing some work on the lighting in a couple of areas so it is just a general upgrade in several areas, they are also doing some work in the paddock as well.
“And no, the Qatari circuit is not homologated yet, the homologation inspection will be the week of the race but there is nothing that I see at this current point that would stop a grade one from being issued,” summed up Masi.
Moving on to talk about the first Saudi Arabian GP, it is set to take place a week before the grand finale in Abu Dhabi. Masi visited the venue after the US GP as F1 were seen doing some filming work. The FIA man was there to verify all the progress.
The hope is that the circuit will be ready on time to host the first F1 race ever in Saudi Arabia. “I think it will be finished,” said Masi ahead of his visit. “I am relatively confident with what I have seen.”
The story was written by Oprah Sagal
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