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Friday, December 8, 2023

Dash race swap has not boosted US GP F1 ticket gross sales, says COTA

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The Austin occasion is without doubt one of the six occasions that have been chosen to run the dash format in 2023 – which options qualifying on Friday, a standalone dash day on Saturday after which the principle grand prix on Saturday.

The dash format is meant to assist carry extra pleasure to the general occasion, with motion going down on all three days – which in concept ought to carry extra weekend followers.

However Circuit of the Americas chairman Epstein has revealed that having a dash race has not been the success in driving an even bigger viewers for Saturday.

“It did not assist,” he instructed chosen media together with Autosport. “It is a shock.

“You must determine at what level are folks coming for the occasion, which I believe our followers are coming for the occasion, as a lot as they’re for the game. So, I believe it nonetheless stays to be seen whether or not the dash race is one thing the followers are embracing, or it is extra controversial. 

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“You’ve obtained folks which are proponents of it and advocates, and you’ve got others that say I prefer it the way in which it was. It is nonetheless an experiment at this level.”

Picture by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Max Verstappen, Purple Bull Racing RB19

Whereas Epstein acknowledges that the general ticket gross sales development for 2023 could have been impacted by Purple Bull and Max Verstappen’s dominance of F1, he thinks that may be dominated out because the issue behind what has occurred.

Requested how he might make certain it was the dash race and never single-team dominance that have been a flip off, Epstein stated: “You in all probability cannot, however one did not outweigh the opposite sufficient.

“I assume the one technique to say it’s that when Sunday continues to be as sturdy because it was final 12 months, that in all probability solutions the query that you just requested.

“Why is Sunday nonetheless so sturdy if it is the Max issue that impacts the attendance? I might say ‘effectively, I handed that take a look at [in strong Sunday sales] and now I am saying, half two is Saturday this 12 months was somewhat bit lower than Saturday final 12 months, and but we’ve got a dash race this 12 months. In order that’s the one factor that moved.”

Epstein stated he was unsure if the proof of this 12 months meant Austin would go for a dash once more in 2024.

“We are going to work with F1 and allow them to determine what’s finest, however we’re completely happy for it to rotate round somewhat,” he stated.

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