2020 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix canceled due to COVID-19

COTA calls cancellation of Austin race "prudent, but painful"

Talk 1370 Newsroom
July 24, 2020 - 9:19 am
Formula 1 United States Grand Prix Circuit of the Americas

PA Images/Sipa USA

AUSTIN (Talk1370.com) -- The Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas has been canceled, officials announced Friday.

The 2020 edition of the race was originally scheduled for October 23-25.

"The cancellation is prudent, but painful," chairman Bobby Epstein said in a statement. "After a sold out 2019, advance ticket sales deposits were up nearly 250 percent over the prior year, and our staff was preparing our biggest event ever."

Formula 1, which just completed its third race of the season this past Sunday in Hungary, added three more races to its 2020 calendar Friday morning. In addition to the race at COTA, races in Mexico, Canada, and Brazil have been canceled.

The cancellation effectively wipes out COTA's entire 2020 event schedule. MotoGP's Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas had been postponed to November, but that event was canceled earlier this month. INDYCAR was also slated to hold its annual race in April, right as the pandemic took hold in Central Texas.

The annual F1 race, the biggest event on COTA's schedule, is estimated to draw 250,000 to 300,000 people to the Austin area each year. The event itself is estimated to have an impact of nearly $400 million on the local economy - a figure that nearly triples when indirect and induced spending are included.

The cancellation represents a loss of more than just the Formula 1 race; in recent years, the event has become known for its major concerts with performers including P!NK, Imagine Dragons, Taylor Swift, Elton John, Britney Spears, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake and Usher. "We had secured blockbuster performers for the evening shows, and the racing this year is fantastic," Epstein continued. "I'm disappointed for the fans, COTA employees, our community, and everyone in the Formula One Paddock, as I believe we all look forward to what has become a wonderful annual tradition."

Epstein said he's already looking forward to 2021. "It is my hope that the pandemic will soon pass and we will celebrate 2021 with the greatest Formula One United States Grand Prix ever!"

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