World Champion Sebastian Vettel became the first F1 driver to sample the new Port Imperial circuit this week, which will host the Grand Prix of America next June.
Vettel stopped off after Montreal in New York both to drive the street circuit, which is still under construction and to make an appearance on the popular David Letterman show.
Vettel drove the track in a road car as part of a promotion for Red Bull partner Infiniti and described the circuit as like a street circuit version of Spa Francorchamps, due to the elevation changes.
“It’s a pretty steep uphill and there are some nice corners up there, which makes it really fun to drive,” Vettel said. “It’s truly unique. Certainly the up and down aspect, with the elevation, that’s something the drivers always enjoy. And you still have bumps built in even if you resurface, and that gives a little bit of soul to the course.”
Vettel described the spectacle of the circuit set against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline as “unreal.”
Meanwhile the FIA’s Charlie Whiting made an initial inspection of the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, which will host the US Grand Prix in Austin in November this year. He gave it the thumbs up, but his final sign off will come in September, 60 days before the race date.
* On the subject of videos, I’ve had a little preview of a very cool video today, which Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton are cooking up with Santander UK for release later this month. It’s linked to the idea of a fantasy race around London.