The Circuit of the Americas is planning to host an additional 20,000 fans at this year’s Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, capitalizing on growing interest from Americans.
F1 will return to Austin in October, after the COVID-19 force to cancel last year’s race. The circuit plans to organize its regular concerts, having already confirmed the performances of Billy Joel and Twenty One Pilots, and is set to receive a large crowd amid the growing interest in F1 in the United States.
The president of COTA, Bobby Epstein, believes this year’s United States Grand Prix is going to be “the best in our history,” and revealed that additional fan zones are being opened due to unprecedented ticket sales.
“The ticket sales are tremendous, so we are happy in that regard,” Epstein told Motorsport.com.
“By knowing well in advance we can add a lot of fun content around the event. The extra four months to know that the budget is there to make for an amazing experience is really enjoyable.”
“We have exhausted the capacity for which we normally prepare. But since we have time, we are preparing the infrastructure and adding bridges to cross the track, to open new areas of the circuit that we have not used before.”
“We are going to go from sold out tickets to sold out tickets to sold out again. We hope to put more tickets on sale within a month.”
“Another 20,000 more should be allowed. It will be closer to Silverstone’s public (number of).”
Epstein was “optimistic” that this year’s race weekend, which runs from October 22-24, could play out as a “normal event” as F1 recently announced that the Grand Prix Grand Prix Britain will be the first full-capacity race since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are in June, and the progress between February and June has been exponential,” Epstein said.
“I hope we continue on the same path, and that as more and more people get vaccinated, and as the summer progresses, we continue to return to normal.”
F1 is known to be thinking of holding a second race in Austin later this year to beef up the schedule if necessary, with concerns raised by the events in Australia and Brazil.
Although Epstein said COTA was “prepared to do what is best for the sport,” he made it clear that the talks had not been serious yet.
“It’s very easy for us to host two races, but in terms of whether that actually happens, we’re far from knowing,” Epstein said.
“We had a casual conversation before Baku. We haven’t talked about it (again).”