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Charlie Whiting: Watkins Glen a 'wonderful circuit' for F1

Tony Stewart and Lewis Hamilton driving Watkins Glen at a 2011 promotional event Nick Laham/Getty Images for Mobil 1

FIA race director Charlie Whiting says the revamped Watkins Glen would be "an absolutely wonderful circuit" for a future Formula One race.

The New York State circuit hosted the U.S. Grand Prix for 20 consecutive years between 1961 and 1980 before the race dropped off the calendar, returning to Phoenix in 1989. 'The Glen' has remained a popular host of many other series , including NASCAR and Indycar.

Whiting visits the circuit every three years for an FIA inspection, with his latest coinciding with resurfacing work.

"I think the track looks marvellous," Whiting said. "I am really, really impressed with the work that has been done. It has been done to a very, very high standard."

He went on to say: "I think it is one of the most charismatic circuits in the U.S.. There are newer ones like the Circuit of the Americas but it hasn't got the character that this has got. I think it would be an absolutely wonderful circuit for F1 cars to race on, but we all know it is not quite as simple as that. As far as circuits in the U.S. go, this is right up there."

Despite the endorsement, the U.S. Grand Prix looks set to remain at Austin's Circuit of the Americas. The race was listed as provisional on the 2016 F1 calendar released in December last year but the circuit has called a press conference for Wednesday where it is expected to confirm the 2016 edition is going ahead as planned.

Watkins Glen later clarified on Twitter: "We never implied that F1 may return. Many tracks receive FIA certifications that do not host Formula One events."

Whiting's endorsement comes at a time F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone is looking to increase the number of races in America, though his preference is for a grand prix on the west coast.