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Boss of COTA: 'Miami, Las Vegas and Austin complement each other perfectly'

Boss of COTA: 'Miami, Las Vegas and Austin complement each other perfectly'

13 August - 17:49 Last update: 21:17
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GPblog.com

Formula 1 is becoming increasingly popular and is attracting a new audience in America. This is partly due to the successful Netflix docuseries Drive To Survive. The Grand Prix in Austin will be the second American round of the year, following the Miami GP last May. Next season, Las Vegas will debut with a night race. Bobby Epstein, the boss of the Circuit of the Americas says that a fourth race in the future will be very difficult because of the many costs that have to be made.

Epstein says in conversation with Reuters that the three circuits on next year's F1 calendar do complement each other perfectly: "Miami has the glitz and the glamour and the wonderful destination that Miami is and the international flavour there. Las Vegas is just bold America in the most entertaining way."

The American thinks 'his' COTA is unique, because of the many overtaking opportunities and that the fans get to see a lot from the stands. "What we see with our purpose built circuit is on-track competition that really satisfies the true racing fan in terms of just the ability to overtake and the hills and the curves and the fact that fans can see eight or 10 turns from one seat."

A lot of cost

There has been talk of more American races than the current three, but Epstein says any alternate with other cities offering temporary circuits would be difficult. "It costs over $150 million just to put on a race the first time, even on a non-permanent circuit," he said, referring to the cost of communications cabling, pit and paddock infrastructure and track paving.

"To move it around, it’s high risk, a huge expense and (it's) hard to ask someone to do a one-off and then not come back the next year because you have to invest so much even just to do it once." Epstein concludes that rotating could work with permanent circuits as used to be the case in Germany between Hockenheim and Nürburgring.

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