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Building Velociudad, FIA Requirements

FIA has outlined strict regulations on how Grade 1 circuits must be built. Multiple technical requirements as well as compulsory on and off-site facilities must be inspected to guarantee that all safety, hospitality, and service standards are met. FIA homologation will provide a circuit with a professional license and attest its eligibility on the International Sporting Calendar.

When it comes to track length, a FIA Grade 1 circuit must be at least 3.5 km but no longer than 7 km. On the track, the maximum allowed length for straight sections is 2 kilometers. Run-off areas are an essential element of track and driver safety. Each run-off is determined by mathematical calculations as well as simulator trials which determine speeds and needed escape ground.

Gravel stones or tarmac are used as run-off areas as they are designed to produce maximum frictional resistance to help decrease the car's speed. In between the run-off and the track, FIA also strongly suggests a three meter grass verge. A smooth surface on the tracks is a must. The track surface must be clean and well maintained so that a 4 meter long straight rod can be laid on top of the track perfectly, with a tolerance no greater or less than 3 mm. The two mandatory service roads: the inner road which is adjacent to the track and the outer road which surrounds the border must be clear for emergency vehicles to travel quickly between the track and the medical center.

Due to the large number of people who potentially visit or work at a Grade 1 circuit, FIA regulations state that the minimum requirement for facilities are: a media center that can be occupied by 500 journalists and 150 photographers, a hospitality room for 4000 guests, 250 square meters of extra hospitality area for each racing team and a spacious race control room located near the start line and with easy access to the track or pit lane.

Moreover, FIA requires a permanent on-site medical center. It must be both isolated, yet centrally located to provide easy access for medical vehicles in case of an emergency. If an injured driver needs to be transported to a hospital, the hospital must be pre-approved by FIA in FIA's medical questionnaire. In anticipation, a compulsory helicopter pad must be near the medical center. The maximum flight time to the nearest proposed hospital is 20 minutes and if the flight conditions are poor, an ambulance ride to the hospital should not exceed 45 minutes.

The circuit must be within an acceptable driving radius from the nearest international airport that can operate a Boeing 747 and combination of 5000 hotel beds at 4 and 5 star levels.

Bi-yearly inspections and license renewals are mandatory for a circuit to remain Grade 1 eligible. These are some of the numerous requirements which FIA imposes on circuits seeking the revered Grade 1 homologation, and which Velociudad Speedcity is strictly adhering to during its construction phase.

Corie Chu
International Publicist
Velociudad Speedcity Circuit

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