US GP might hit half-a-million followers attendance subsequent yr, says COTA boss

The Circuit of The Americas welcomed a three-day crowd of 440,000 for the USA 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 growing its transit choices to assist individuals get to the observe.

It has put the five hundred,000 mark nicely throughout the Austin race’s sights for the long run, with observe chief Epstein believing it may very well be reached as early as subsequent yr – as long as the fan expertise just isn’t diluted.

“We will get there,” Epstein mentioned when requested by Motorsport.com concerning the possibilities of making it to half-a-million followers.

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

“We have got to transform to mass transit, and if that works, then we will develop. So it may very well be subsequent yr.”

COTA shortly offered out the extra tickets it placed on sale for this yr’s race, whereas the overall admission areas across the observe 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 crucial factor was to make sure the fan expertise was nearly as good because it may very well be.

COTA continued its custom of internet hosting live shows over the race weekend this yr 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 observe as a part of enhancing their race weekend expertise.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Max Verstappen, Pink Bull Racing RB18

Picture by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Photographs

“I do not assume it must be about essentially attending to 500k, however rigorously rising to verify we will nonetheless deal with the group,” mentioned Epstein.

“That is what we do. We do not drive the vehicles, we do not have something to do with the standard of the racing. All we will do is fear about your parking, your meals, your relaxation rooms and your enjoyable, and the leisure. And that is what we give attention to.”

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Subsequent yr’s United States Grand Prix seems to be 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 just a few years in the past” given F1’s progress in the USA.

“It is far more priceless now than it was. In the event you requested me that even three or 4 years in the past, I would say it would be good to have, however now it will 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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