COTA sees potential for one thing particular in shock prospect of F1 doubleheader
The prospect of internet hosting two Method 1 races at Circuit of The Americas this 12 months got here as an entire shock to Bobby Epstein, however provides 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 alternative, with RACER understanding F1 is contemplating back-to-back races in Texas this fall. Nonetheless, Epstein — who attended the Spanish Grand Prix final month — admits the one discussions concerning such a situation have been very transient, 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 informed RACER. “And I feel if it was meant then the best way you’ll 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 monitor 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 no less than — who has had a race on the calendar over the past two seasons has had, which is, ‘If we wished to do it, would it not be attainable?’
“In some unspecified time in the future 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 fingers 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 tremendously from a doubleheader. Up to now, any F1 doubleheaders on the identical venue in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic have been held behind closed doorways, however having already bought 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 feel it could be good,” he mentioned. “We would like them to be wholesome financially, we would like the followers to eat as a lot Method 1 pleasure as they will — in order that’s a optimistic — and it could imply extra resort 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 would actually have interaction and get into the potential for 10 days of Method 1, or doubtlessly extra. I feel we’d have extra folks fascinated about placing collectively and placing on extra activation, exhibitions, shows — I feel we might activate the entire metropolis round it downtown by creating a giant F1 fan zone that will actually make for a spectacular occasion.”
Nonetheless, Epstein admits the time it could take to place collectively such an occasion means COTA will want a call from F1 as quickly as attainable, however he says the monitor can nonetheless host a second race even on the last-minute if required.
“It relies upon upon what that occasion appears like. The monitor, 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 1000’s of individuals, the logistics, it’s arduous.
“I don’t assume it could be definitely 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 unique occasion, I don’t know in the event that they ponder help races; you’d need to outline for me what it’s that they wish to do. However the seats might be in place, the monitor is there and the joy would definitely be there.
“We will all the time do the races, even shortly earlier than. The whole lot else you add into make it an much more spectacular, particular occasion — that one the clock is already working on.”