Atlas F1 News Service, a Reuters report

FIA Seek Minor Safety Changes at Interlagos

Friday February 2nd, 2001

Brazil's Interlagos circuit, due to host a Formula One Grand Prix on April 1, has been told to implement minor safety changes by March 15, newspapers reported on Friday.

The local Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper quoted the International Automobile Federation (FIA)'s safety delegate Charlie Whiting as saying on Thursday that the track was generally satisfactory however.

"The track was resurfaced and the pits, which were the worst part of the circuit, are in much better shape," he was quoted as saying on an inspection visit.

"I'm impressed every year when I come here and see the transformation that happens to the track in these two months."

Whiting said a guard rail near one of the curves needed to be raised and another near the pit lane exit needed adjustment to make it easier for ambulances to get in and out.

He was also concerned about drainage from gravel traps around the circuit and newspapers said organisers had until March 15 to get the work done.

The Brazilian Grand Prix promoters were fined $100,000 by the FIA last year for safety problems.

Qualifying for the 2000 race was interrupted three times by advertising hoardings falling onto the track with one of them hitting the Prost car of Frenchman Jean Alesi.

The circuit was also criticised because of the bumpy track and the Sauber team withdrew its cars before the race because of safety fears.

Newspapers said Whiting would send his report to the FIA after a visit to Rio de Janeiro's Jacarepagua circuit and were more critical of the state of the track, which hosted an endurance race last weekend, than he was.

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