Circuit Of The Americas Expects New F1 Deal Despite Plans For Miami
Circuit of the Americas Chair Bobby Epstein "expects to continue hosting the U.S. Grand Prix beyond its current deal despite the imminent arrival of a Miami street race," according to Nate Saunders of ESPN.com. COTA's current deal with F1 runs until '21 and "despite some challenges in previous years it has become one of the most popular race weekends on the calendar." Epstein said, "It's mutual expectation that we want to keep going. Lewis (Hamilton) called it his favourite track in the world. It was made for F1." Epstein said his Austin-based track is still "trying to deal" with a contract signed by former F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone, which has its "own nuances and challenges." Epstein: "We're both -- F1 management and COTA -- trying to sort through some of those contract challenges that come from accelerators." Epstein also said Miami "comes with it's own big challenges the first couple of years, just as we saw with Mexico the first couple of years." Epstein: "You really have competition for the F1 fan." He added of the Miami race, "It's not just (problematic for) fans, it's also the sponsors and people that would activate that at two events. There's not necessarily time for both to share the same part of the calendar. Logistically for F1 it's completely understandable. For the promoter it's less desirable. ... Sometimes competition is a really good thing and sometimes it can be painful" (ESPN.com, 7/11).
MISSING THE MARK: FORBES' Christian Sylt reported F1's plan for a race in Miami has "hit the skids" after a contract for the race was "not finalized" by the July 1 deadline given by the Miami City Commission. It is "unclear why the contract has yet to reach the finish line, but the plan for the race has fueled significant opposition in just the few months since it was announced" (FORBES.com, 7/10).