The cancellation of the United States Grand Prix in Austin was “painful” but necessary, according to Circuit of The Americas CEO Bobby Epstein.
Formula 1 has confirmed there will be no racing in the Americas in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the virus situation in the U.S., Mexico and Brazil still deemed too volatile to host a race, while travel restrictions remain in place in Canada. Epstein acknowledged the right decision has been made from a health and safety point of view, although he admits his disappointment not to be able to build on last year’s event at COTA.
“The cancellation is prudent, but painful,” Epstein (pictured above) said. “After a sold-out 2019, advance ticket sales deposits were up near 250 percent over the prior year, and our staff was preparing our biggest event ever.
“We had secured blockbuster performers for the evening shows, and the racing this year is fantastic. I’m disappointed for the fans, COTA employees, our community, and everyone in the Formula 1 paddock, as I believe we all look forward to what has become a wonderful annual tradition.
“It is my hope that the pandemic will soon pass and we will celebrate 2021 with the greatest Formula 1 United States Grand Prix ever!”
Formula 1 currently has 13 confirmed races all taking place in Europe, while the sport is targeting at least one race in Asia — the inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix — before finishing its season with a double-header in Bahrain and season finale in Abu Dhabi in December.