Mexico now ready for FIA inspection after asphalt delay

Mexico's Formula 1 promoter Federico Gonzalez says the track is now ready for its final FIA track inspection, despite minor delays in putting down the final layer of asphalt.

With work on revamping the Mexico City circuit having been completed in less than a year, organisers found themselves having to wait to put down the top layer of asphalt because of unexpected poor weather.

But with F1 race director Charlie Whiting having travelled to Mexico for a track inspection this week, Gonzalez is happy that the venue is now complete, and that all that needs finishing off are some spectator facilities.

"There is still a little bit of work here and there – like painting – in the public areas for the people who are going to attend," Gonzalez told Motorsport.com.

"We are working hard on that – that is where we are 95 per cent done, so a little bit behind schedule, but for the rest of it we are confident and will be on time."

Asphalt expert

With wet weather delaying Mexico from completing the track surface, Gonzalez says that architect Tilke flew out its asphalt expert to make sure things were eventually completed in the best possible manner.

"We had a little delay on that [finishing the asphalt], but we are now finished 100 per cent," he said.

"It rained and made it difficult, but we did some proofs and the Tilke people came and brought out Dr. [Rainer] Harat – the most important engineer in terms of asphalt.

"He came and supervised the whole thing, and made some changes. So we are fine."

Challenging times

Gonzalez has admitted that getting the track ready for its F1 return has been far from easy, but believes the success of the event will be a just reward.

"In terms for us, it has been a very hard learning process," he said. "This project is really big. There was a lot of detail, a lot of international things, and since the construction happened in a small period of time, it was very challenging.

"For us, after doing this in less than a year, it was challenging but we are very happy and confident that the people will have a great experience when they see the track."

Sell-out expected

After the first batch of tickets for the grand prix were sold out immediately, organisers increased capacity to 100,000, and only a few places are still available.

Gonzalez adds that local hero Sergio Perez's podium finish in Russia has further served to boost interest.

"It has definitely helped," he said. "It could not have come at a better moment really. It looks like the whole thing was planned – and it wasn't!

"It really helps us because the perception of Checo Perez being a national hero could not be better.

"The timing with that podium, the pictures in the newspapers, it helped us to sell us more tickets and it helps the idea and enthusiasm of the people who will attend the race. If he does something in Austin, well – nothing could be better than that."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Mexican GP
Track Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
Article type Breaking news