The prospect of internet hosting two Components 1 races at Circuit of The Americas this 12 months got here as an entire shock to Bobby Epstein, however offers Austin the potential to ship one thing particular, says COTA’s chairman.
The cancellation of the Singapore Grand Prix noticed COTA enter the body as a possible substitute, with RACER understanding F1 is contemplating back-to-back races in Texas this fall. Nevertheless, Epstein — who attended the Spanish Grand Prix final month — admits the one discussions concerning such a state of affairs have been very temporary, and so the current reviews got here considerably out of the blue.
“It was an entire shock to listen to that and to learn that within the press,” Epstein instructed RACER. “And I believe if it was meant then the best way you’d know that it wasn’t pure hypothesis is we might have been ready for all of the incoming questions and calls and requests for tickets and distributors and observe leases who all had questions on what’s occurring!
“So we woke as much as that on the morning that all of it got here out. The one dialog that was ever had about it was one that each promoter — that has a everlasting circuit a minimum of — who has had a race on the calendar over the past two seasons has had, which is, ‘If we needed to do it, would it not be potential?’
“Sooner or later it was simply requested, ‘If we had the scenario, would you guys have an interest?’ and we mentioned, ‘Positive.’ That was weeks in the past.
“We’ve talked (with F1) since however not likely on that topic as a result of I don’t assume they’re actually on the level the place they’re prepared to debate that. I’ve the sensation they’ve their palms full.”
Simply because the discussions have but to be particular doesn’t imply Epstein isn’t eager on the concept, as he believes each F1 and Austin would profit drastically from a doubleheader. To date, any F1 doubleheaders on the identical venue through the COVID-19 pandemic have been held behind closed doorways, however having already offered out this 12 months’s race, Epstein thinks it’s an enormous alternative for a U.S.-focused occasion.
“If it have been good for the game we’d do all we might do, and I believe it might be good,” he mentioned. “We would like them to be wholesome financially, we wish the followers to devour as a lot Components 1 pleasure as they will — in order that’s a constructive — and it might imply extra lodge rooms and guests to our metropolis. So all in all if the chance is there we must always try to see if we will make it work.
“There may be potential to do one thing particular. There are activations and sponsors that might actually interact and get into the potential for 10 days of Components 1, or doubtlessly extra. I believe we’d have extra folks curious about placing collectively and placing on extra activation, exhibitions, shows — I believe we might activate the entire metropolis round it downtown by creating an enormous F1 fan zone that may actually make for a spectacular occasion.”
Nevertheless, Epstein admits the time it might take to place collectively such an occasion means COTA will want a call from F1 as quickly as potential, however he says the observe can nonetheless host a second race even on the last-minute if required.
“It relies upon upon what that occasion appears to be like like. The observe, we will shuffle issues round most likely on the calendar. If we have been to do one thing like we do for the conventional United States Grand Prix, we’re already partway down that runway. To rent the hundreds of individuals, the logistics, it’s exhausting.
“I don’t assume it might be actually the identical occasion as we might have the subsequent weekend — that already has all of the programming and the artists and the music — however the racing might nonetheless be thrilling. I’d simply see it as a distinct occasion, I don’t know in the event that they ponder assist races; you’d need to outline for me what it’s that they need to do. However the seats shall be in place, the observe is there and the thrill will surely be there.
“We are able to at all times do the races, even shortly earlier than. All the pieces else you add into make it an much more spectacular, particular occasion — that one the clock is already operating on.”