OCTOBER 11, 2021
F1 race director plays down unsafe Austin surface
F1 race director Michael Masi has played down a controversy surrounding the venue of the next race on the 2021 Formula 1 calendar.
Two years ago, drivers including Lewis Hamilton - who claimed the situation gave him a "massive headache" - complained that the surface at Austin's US GP venue, Circuit of the Americas, was excessively bumpy.
The situation appears to have worsened since then, with 2021 MotoGP championship leader Fabio Quartararo describing the current state of the bumpy surface "a joke" and "unsafe".
"We said three years ago that they need to resurface and it's even worse now," said the rider.
F1 race director Masi, however, insists he is dealing with the situation.
"I spent that (MotoGP) weekend on the phone with my colleagues from FIM to get a real idea of what was going on there," said the Australian.
"After the US GP in 2019, much of the circuit was resurfaced, but the sections of the track that drew criticism from the MotoGP riders are located in a different part of the circuit," Masi added.
Two weeks ahead of F1's 2021 US GP, Masi said an FIA inspector is currently on site.
"He reports from there that work is already underway at the circuit to solve a number of existing problems," said Masi.
"With the time remaining before we get there, the owners of the track will do everything in their power."