The chairman of the Circuit of the Americas says the cancellation of its Formula 1 round, which promised strong ticket sales this year, is the latest in a series of blows for the venue.
The world championship confirmed last week the United States Grand Prix will not go ahead as planned following the cancellation of all its races in the Americas due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It’s been kind of a tough blow after blow the way this year has kind of come together,” Epstein told the Speed City podcast. F1 has joined IndyCar and Moto GP in cancelling races at the circuit near Austin, Texas this year.
Epstein said F1’s cancellation “was no surprise” for him following conversations with Formula 1’s chairman and CEO Chase Carey.
“When I saw Chase in February and he was talking about the Chinese Grand Prix being potentially postponed at that time, we talked about what happens if it spreads and could this be a tough year all around? And sure enough that’s obviously what happened. But we kind of knew a couple months ago this is pretty likely.”
The race promoters had taken more deposits for ticket sales this year than in any season since COTA’s inaugural grand prix in 2012. “This was the closest thing we had to that,” said Epstein.
“We had people putting down deposits, we were up almost 300% actually in terms of people who said ‘I want to get my seats next year, I don’t want to take a chance on missing out’. So we certainly were excited about what the numbers were going to be for this year.”
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2020 F1 season