The Circuit of the Americas announced that they are “highly confident” in signing a contract extension for the 2019 and 2020 Formula One U.S. Grand Prix races, after months of uncertainty and discussion with F1 officials over next year’s race. The decision to continue hosting the event was made despite reports by ESPN earlier this week citing sources close to Austin saying they may not be able to reach an agreement with F1 due its delay on agreeing terms on future races
The “Austin’s Circuit of the Americas ‘highly confident’ of U.S. Grand Prix contract renewal” is a news article that was published on June 10th, 2018. The article talks about how the circuit has high confidence in renewing their contract with Formula One for next year.
AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) — Bobby Epstein, CEO of the Circuit of the Americas, said he would be “surprised and saddened” if the circuit’s U.S. Grand Prix contract was not renewed after this year’s race.
The United States Grand Prix was marked with an asterisk on the 2022 race schedule, indicating that it was subject to a new contract. F1 head Stefano Domenicali is in Austin for Sunday’s race (1:30 p.m. ET, ABC), and Epstein feels a new deal is a formality at this stage.
COTA plans to issue tickets for the 2022 season in April, and Epstein is optimistic that everything will be completed by then.
When questioned about the discussions, Epstein told ESPN, “We’d prefer to finalize it before we go on sale, but we’ll put some  tickets on sale this weekend.”
“I believe it will be completed. I’m really certain that we’ll make it. If we don’t, I’ll be astonished and unhappy, and I believe [Domenicali] would agree.”
Following the cancellation of the 2020 edition due to the pandemic, COTA is anticipating a record-breaking turnout for this year’s race, which is expected to surpass the previous race-day attendance record of 140,000. Epstein attributes the surge in interest to the very successful Netflix series “Formula 1: Drive to Survive.”
“We were at a sellout point in 2019, but we’ve expanded capacity since then… let’s say 35,000 capacity.” Because the series wasn’t racing here in 2020, we didn’t have any races in our time zone, I’d say a big chunk of it came from Netflix’s rise of interest. So how did fans get more engaged?
“It wasn’t because they were watching TV in the middle of the day and decided to join in. Instead, they went around to everyone’s house every day, streaming the TV program.”
The United States Grand Prix in Austin is one of the most popular events on the calendar. Getty Images/Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire
COTA has gone to great lengths to make its return event a success. Because of last year’s postponement, Epstein confessed that money was not an issue as it had been in prior years.
COTA is hosting a number of activities throughout the weekend. On Saturday night, Billy Joel will perform, but spectators at the racetrack will be spoilt with entertainment alternatives in between track sessions.
COTA is also hosting top-ranked Major League Eaters in a World Spam Eating Contest, with NBA great Shaquille O’Neal playing under his musical identity DJ Diesel. The legendary El Pulpo Mechanico, a mechanical octopus with eight tentacles that spew fireballs, has also been stolen by the circuit from the Burning Man event.
Epstein believes it is critical for the circuit to demonstrate to Domenicali and F1 how large the fan base is.
When asked how he made an impact on Domenicali, Epstein said, “I aim to take him all the way around [the circuit]! I want to take him around a lot and then tell him how proud I am of what we’ve done.”
He said, ” “I believe he already recognizes it. I believe all of the teams and drivers have said that they love coming here, which is great to hear, and I believe we’ll get there.”
This is the last Grand Prix in the United States until the Miami Grand Prix debuts in May. Epstein was happy that Miami was held earlier in the year, allowing COTA a five-month cushion before its own race, which is often held near the Mexican Grand Prix.
“When we first heard about the Miami race five years ago, we were a lot more anxious than we would be now.” Knowing it’s spread out across a different portion of the year, I believe it’s complementary, and as we’ve seen from ticket sales this year… few years ago, I don’t think we’d have been in the same position as we are now.
“And for this year’s event, we could have sold a lot more tickets than we did.”
Since its inception in 2012, COTA has had its ups and downs, and Epstein feels that weathering the tough times and establishing the event as a highlight of the current F1 calendar has been critical to preserving its long-term existence.
“In years three to five, new races are most susceptible, and this determines your long-term prospects.” I believe we’ve crossed the finish line and now have some tradition and history.
“We’ve now had this event for the second longest time — Watkins Glen had more races, but we’ve now had the second longest — and it’s been 40 years since Watkins Glen. So I think we’re on firm footing now.”
The “f1 2018 standings” is a blog post that was written by Austin’s Circuit of the Americas. They are highly confident that they will be able to renew their contract with Formula One for the 2019 U.S. Grand Prix.
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