The owners of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez were weeks late in having the circuit ready for the final FIA inspection. It now seems the organisers of the race weekend are also badly prepared. Having sold out for each day of the weekend, fans were locked out of the circuit until just minutes before Friday’s free practice 1 began.
Queues at various entrances were over a Kilometre long and the grandstands were almost empty as the cars took to the track for the 90 minute session. The last of the fans were still waiting to be admitted as FP1 came to an end. Many of the concession stands also remained unopen until late in FP1.
Other fans reported shuttle buses from various points in the city, simply failed to arrive at pre-arranged collection points and nobody was available to provide information as to alternative transport to the circuit.
By the end of the session, the stadium section was almost completely full, though fans contacting TJ13 were angry at the way they had been treated. The redesigned Tilke circuit has also come in for some criticism. Safety concerns about the run off outside of the iconic peraltada corner meant this has been neutered as the cars now run through the old baseball stadium.
However, Bruno Senna believes the biggest Tilke sin was altering the famous Esses section unnecessarily – ruining the flow of the track for the cars.