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Volume 26 No. 226
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COTA Chair Bobby Epstein Bullish On Circuit's Place In F1

Circuit of the Americas Chair Bobby Epstein discussed the track's future as an F1 host, saying the racing league "wouldn't exist in the U.S. right now if we hadn't built a home for it here," according to Nate Saunders of ESPN.com. Epstein added, "You just have to look at what we've done in [the] U.S. and helping to build a fan base here -- before ticket sales had been falling and it had been difficult for any circuit to establish itself as the home of F1." COTA's current deal with F1 runs until '21. When asked about what extension his track -- which has hosted F1's U.S. Grand Prix since '12 -- was hoping to secure moving forward, he said: "A shorter deal is better for both parties, you don't want to get locked into something that you don't like down the line. We also can never be sure how the event or how the sport will evolve over the next few years." Saunders noted F1 "wants to add another U.S. race to the calendar and is pushing on with securing a Miami Grand Prix." But COTA has been "lukewarm about the push for another race on the calendar and it's clear why." Epstein has "reservations about the appeal of the current Miami GP proposal and the risk factor is a key part of the negotiations around COTA's contract extension" (ESPN.com, 8/23).