F1 US GP may hit 500k attendance as early as subsequent 12 months, says COTA boss

The Circuit of The Americas welcomed a three-day crowd of 440,000 for america Grand Prix, making it a brand new race weekend report for F1.

COTA constructed numerous new grandstands to accommodate an additional 40,000 followers in comparison with the race in 2021, in addition to rising its transit choices to assist individuals get to the monitor.

It has put the five hundred,000 mark nicely inside the Austin race’s sights for the longer term, with monitor chief Epstein believing it may very well be reached as early as subsequent 12 months – as long as the fan expertise shouldn’t be diluted.

“We will get there,” Epstein mentioned when requested by Autosport concerning the possibilities of making it to half one million followers.

“We’re testing our bus system this 12 months. It’s much more strong. You go from 300 buses to 600, and if that works and the load occasions are attainable, then that is actually the litmus check for it.

“We’ve received to transform to mass transit, and if that works, then we are able to develop.

“So it may very well be subsequent 12 months.”

COTA rapidly bought out the extra tickets it placed on sale for this 12 months’s race, whereas the overall admission areas across the monitor have been packed out with followers, particularly on the hill at Flip 1.

Epstein mentioned there was already the ticket demand to succeed in 500,000, however mentioned a very powerful factor was to make sure the fan expertise was pretty much as good because it may very well be.

COTA continued its custom of internet hosting concert events over the race weekend this 12 months as Ed Sheeran, Inexperienced Day and Interpol all carried out on the circuit.

Steps have been additionally taken to enhance issues akin to meals and beverage choices for followers on the monitor as a part of enhancing their race weekend expertise.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Max Verstappen, Crimson Bull Racing RB18

Picture by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Photos

“I don’t suppose it ought to be about essentially attending to 500k, however rigorously rising to verify we are able to nonetheless deal with the gang,” mentioned Epstein.

“That is what we do. We don’t drive the automobiles, we don’t have something to do with the standard of the racing. All we are able to do is fear about your parking, your meals, your relaxation rooms and your enjoyable, and the leisure. And that’s what we deal with.”

Subsequent 12 months’s United States Grand Prix seems set to function an American driver on the grid for the primary time since 2015 as Williams plans to signal Logan Sargeant, pending him gaining an FIA superlicence.

Epstein felt that getting an American driver on the grid was now “extra significant now than it will have been a number of years in the past” given F1’s development in america.

“It’s far more worthwhile now than it was. For those who requested me that even three or 4 years in the past, I’d say it’d be good to have, however now it’ll be nice, nice for him,” he mentioned.

“The larger launch step is can we get an American on the entrance row, as there’s solely a lot time individuals will take note of an American with the alternatives now we have. You wish to see winners.”

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