COTA sees potential for one thing particular in shock prospect of F1 doubleheader
The prospect of internet hosting two Formulation 1 races at Circuit of The Americas this 12 months got here as a whole 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 substitute, 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 latest studies got here considerably out of the blue.
“It was a whole shock to listen to that and to learn that within the press,” Epstein instructed RACER. “And I feel if it was supposed then the best way you’d know that it wasn’t pure hypothesis is we’d 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 taking place!
“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 needed to do it, would it not be doable?’
“In some unspecified time in the future it was simply requested, ‘If we had the state of affairs, would you guys have an interest?’ and we mentioned, ‘Positive.’ That was weeks in the past.
“We’ve talked (with F1) since however probably not on that topic as a result of I don’t suppose 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 drastically from a doubleheader. Up to now, any F1 doubleheaders on the similar 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 feel it will be good,” he mentioned. “We would like them to be wholesome financially, we wish the followers to eat as a lot Formulation 1 pleasure as they’ll — in order that’s a constructive — and it will 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 are able to make it work.
“There may be potential to do one thing particular. There are activations and sponsors that might actually have interaction and get into the potential of 10 days of Formulation 1, or probably extra. I feel we’d have extra folks concerned with 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 may actually make for a spectacular occasion.”
Nonetheless, Epstein admits the time it will take to place collectively such an occasion means COTA will want a choice from F1 as quickly as doable, 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 seems like. The monitor, we are able to shuffle issues round in all probability on the calendar. If we have been to do one thing like we do for the traditional 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 suppose it will be actually the identical occasion as we’d have the following weekend — that already has all of the programming and the artists and the music — however the racing might nonetheless be thrilling. I might simply see it as a special 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 wish to do. However the seats will likely be in place, the monitor is there and the joy will surely be there.
“We will all the time do the races, even shortly earlier than. Every little thing else you add into make it an much more spectacular, particular occasion — that one the clock is already working on.”