COTA chairman thinks Liberty should own some F1 circuits

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Circuit of The Americas chairman Bobby Epstein believes that Formula 1’s new owner, Liberty Media, should own some of the circuits on the series’ calendar.

Liberty completed its takeover of F1 back in January, with new CEO and chairman Chase Carey keen to ensure that races become more sustainable and are less susceptible to falling off the calendar due to financial difficulties.

The United States Grand Prix at COTA came close to collapse following a washout in 2015 and a cut in government funding, only to bounce back last year with a record crowd, aided by a performance from Taylor Swift on Saturday after qualifying.

Speaking to Reuters, COTA chairman Epstein raised the idea of Liberty owning circuits as a way for F1 to take an active role in making races more profitable.

“I do think it makes a lot of sense for them to own some circuits. It would have to be part of any long-term strategy for them,” Epstein said.

“I see a lot of logic and business reasons for them to own some circuits. I think all of the circuits struggle under the current environment.

“If they change it and help the circuits survive, are they better off owning the circuits than making concessions?

“Are they actually giving up profitability by not owning the circuits? If [the circuits] are going to make money from an F1 race, then F1 might as well own that profit.”

Tickets for the 2017 United States GP at COTA in Austin, Texas went on sale earlier this week, with this year’s race set to feature a performance from Justin Timberlake at the track’s amphitheater.