COTA keen to see second F1 race in the US

© XPB 

Circuit of the Americas chairman Bobby Epstein says he would welcome the addition of a second Formula 1 race in the United States, as he thinks this will benefit the Austin venue as well.

Having hosted the USGP since 2012, COTA has quickly established its reputation as a popular destination for drivers and fans alike.

Formula One Group CEO Chase Carey recently said the sport’s new owners Liberty Media are keen to raise its profile Stateside and mentioned New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Las Vegas as destination cities.

“In the long run, it will bring more attention to the sport and our race,” Epstein told the Austin-American Statesman. “A second U.S. race would keep the sport in front of people for a longer period.

“One of the drawbacks of F1 in America is most races [on the schedule] start at 7 a.m. or even earlier. If you add a race in our time zone, it will grow the fan base, and that’s good for all of us.”

However, Epstein is not convinced that staging F1 grands prix in the heart of American cities is the right move.

“Races are very expensive,” he added. “It would take $60 million to $90 million to set up a street course, and the logistics are extremely difficult.

“Street races tend to be very boring. There’s not much opportunity to overtake. A fan can’t watch many turns. From COTA, you get to see as many as 10 turns. On a street course, you see the car go by once and then it’s gone.”

F1 cars have already raced on street circuits in the US, with the examples of Long Beach, Detroit, and Phoenix coming to mind.

More recently, Formula E - the FIA’s all-electric series - has held events in Miami and Long Beach, and will head to New York for the first time this summer.

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