Report: COTA chairman casts serious doubt on future of USGP in Austin


Likely cuts from the state of Texas to Circuit of The Americas to help pay for the United States Grand Prix in Austin may place the race in jeopardy going forward.

A report out late Tuesday night from the Austin American-Statesman indicated that officials from Gov. Greg Abbott’s office will cut the state’s contribution amount from $25 million – which it had been in 2012, 2013 and 2014 – to closer to $19.5 million in 2015.

This news comes on the back of a previous Statesman report where COTA chairman Bobby Epstein called this year’s race “financially devastating.” Miserable weather Friday and Saturday significantly hurt attendance and more crucially, all the other dollars spent besides just tickets – such as concessions and apparel.

Epstein then managed to produce quite possibly the one-liner of the year later in the report, albeit a line you really don’t want to read or hear.

“To use a technical term, I think we’re screwed,” Epstein said, via the Statesman.

COTA – and the funds appropriated to it via the state of Texas – has long been a political football going back even to the track’s first year in 2012.

Either way, stay tuned. It seemingly wouldn’t be a USGP without its future being in question.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”