FIA race director has high praise for Watkins Glen repaving

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Watkins Glen International’s repaving received high marks during an inspection Tuesday from FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting.

“I think the track looks marvelous,” Whiting said in a video tweeted by the track. “I’m really, really impressed with the work that’s been done. It’s been done to very, very high standards.”

Whiting’s comments do not mean that Formula One will return any time soon to the legendary road course in upstate New York.

Rather, FIA inspects numerous tracks around the world every three years – and the completion of WGI’s repaving just happened to fall ahead of Whiting’s visit.

“I think it’s one of the most charismatic circuits in the U.S.,” Whiting said of WGI. “There are newer ones, like the Circuit of the Americas, but it hasn’t got the character that this has got.

“I think it would be an absolutely wonderful setting for Formula One cars to race on. But we all know it’s not quite as simple as that. But as far as circuits in the U.S. goes, I think this is right up there.”

Indeed, while WGI has hosted 20 F1 races in its nearly 60-year history, the last time the international circuit raced upon the track was 36 years ago in 1980.

“It’s always a pleasure to come over here and see how things are done over here,” Whiting said. “What you see here is an absolute gem of a track. It’s got heritage, and that’s what I like.


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