Circuit of the Americas is comfortable with Las Vegas being scheduled close to it on the 2023 Formula 1 calendar as the sport looks to group more races by region.
F1 is trying to make its schedule more efficient from an environmental and logistical perspective due to the amount of freight being flown around the world for each race. However, promoters tend to want events to be spaced out to ensure high demand in their region, but COTA chairman Bobby Epstein says he thinks Vegas and Austin are different enough for both to succeed even with relatively close dates.
“I think the two events are so unique, each pretty exciting in their own way, and I think there’s enough fans to go around,” Epstein told RACER. “So I think they will both flourish – one doesn’t have to succeed at the expense of the other.
“I appreciate they’re not back-to-back, one week apart. One, because I want to go to the other race! But I really like with the way they’ve routed it. Staying in the Americas but going to Mexico and maybe even Brazil as well between us and Vegas makes a lot of sense both from a logistics standpoint, environmental impact standpoint and for the sponsors and fans.
“It’s just better, and I think people realize there’s going to be a very big difference in the different events. A night race in Vegas is going to be an incredible, unique scene, and a weekend festival at COTA offers a lot of value for the buyer.
“It’s just a full week of entertainment both for the racing fan who will have the W Series among three support races, and the uniqueness of the circuit that is purpose-built for F1. And on top of it you’ve got the concerts and the villages to wander around. It’s just the United States Grand Prix, it’s just uniquely different.”
Epstein says there hasn’t been any noticeable impact – positive or negative – from the addition of Miami to this year’s calendar, with Austin selling out its first offerings even before that race took place.
“I think Miami being where it is in May is a great calendar, it complements us,” he said. “Just like Montreal. It’s great to see F1 having a presence in the U.S. more than once a year.”