COTA hires experienced executive in aim to build on record year

Jamie Woodhouse
A packed grandstand at COTA. United States, October 2021.

A packed grandstand at the Circuit of the Americas, home of the United States Grand Prix. October 2021.

Ex-AS Roma CEO and New York Knicks executive Mark Pannes has been brought in by COTA to help continue its expansion.

The Circuit of The Americas has become a regular stop on the Formula 1 calendar, having facilitated the return of the series to the United States in 2012. The 2021 United States Grand Prix drew a record attendance for COTA of 400,000 people.

In addition to Formula 1, the venue also welcomes NASCAR and MotoGP, as well as boasting an amphitheatre which is used for concerts and events.

So, as COTA looks to build on the successes of that 2021 United States GP, Pannes has taken up the role of president for strategy and corporate growth.

Pannes boasts stints with American basketball team New York Knicks, Italian football club AS Roma and Canadian soccer club Vancouver Whitecaps among an impressive CV.

Pannes’ duties for COTA will be to “oversee the Circuit’s portfolio of new business properties which are in various stages of development and poised to reach across its 1,500-acre campus”.

United States Grand Prix starting grid. Austin November 2019.
Teams prepare on the United States Grand Prix starting grid. Austin November 2019.

“This is such an exciting opportunity,” said Pannes in a statement from the Circuit of The Americas.

“After hosting the highest attendance Formula 1 grand prix weekend of all time, MotoGP, The Rolling Stones and the Peppermint Parkway Holiday Festival all within the last few months, the Circuit of The Americas is poised for tremendous growth.

“Our chairman’s vision for adding sports and entertainment properties and attractions in rapid fashion over the coming years positions COTA to be North America’s premier destination for marquee events.”

COTA chairman Bobby Epstein added: “It’s an honour to welcome Mark to our team.

“His business background and approach is a perfect fit with our community-oriented, fan-centric culture.

“I look forward to Mark helping guide our growth and further our success.”


Formula 1 will return to the Circuit of The Americas for the 2022 United States Grand Prix on October 23, but that will not be the first visit of the year to the nation.

Instead, the Miami Grand Prix is set to be held for the first time on May 8.