Race cancellation ‘painful’ admits COTA boss

Michelle Foster


The cancellation of the United States GP is both “painful” and “prudent” says Circuit of The Americas CEO Bobby Epstein.

Last week Formula 1 announced the next spate of grands prix with Imola, the Nurburgring and Portimao all featuring on the calendar.

But while those circuits, which weren’t on the original 2020 calendar have found places in the midst of the pandemic, the Americas has been shut out.

Formula 1 announced that the sport will not head across the pond to Canada, North America, Mexico or Brazil.

“We want to pay tribute to our incredible partners in the Americas and look forward to being back with them next season when they will once again be able to thrill millions of fans around the world,” announced Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO of Formula 1.

The cancellation is a blow to the local Texan economy with reports that the United States Grand Prix injects an estimated $400m into the local economy.

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Epstein, though, concedes it was the right call.

“The cancellation is prudent, but painful,” said the COTA boss.

“After a sold-out 2019, advance ticket sales deposits were up near 250 percent over the prior year, and our staff was preparing our biggest event ever.

“We had secured blockbuster performers for the evening shows, and the racing this year is fantastic.

“I’m disappointed for the fans, COTA employees, our community, and everyone in the Formula 1 paddock, as I believe we all look forward to what has become a wonderful annual tradition.

“It is my hope that the pandemic will soon pass and we will celebrate 2021 with the greatest Formula 1 United States Grand Prix ever!”

The revised calendar to date:

July 5 Austria
July 12 Austria
July 19 Hungary
August 2 Britain
August 9 Britain
August 16 Spain
August 30 Belgium
September 6 Monza, Italy
September 13 Mugello, Italy
September 27 Russia
October 11 Nurburgring, Germany
October 25 Portimao, Portugal
November 1 Imola, Italy

To date 13 grands prix have been announced, all taking place in Europe.

Formula 1 is, however, expected to step outside Europe later in the year with the championship including two races in Bahrain before concluding in Abu Dhabi.

There is also talk of a possible Vietnam Grand Prix with the Hanoi street circuit initially scheduled to make its debut earlier this year.

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