Date published: November 3 2019
COTA chairman Bobby Epstein has hit out at Liberty Media for agreeing a “parking-lot race” with Miami, saying it could damage the F1 brand.
Earlier this month Formula 1’s owners agreed a deal to run a Miami Grand Prix in 2021.
The race will take place around the Hard Rock Stadium using mostly car parks and land owned by the stadium with a brief venture onto public roads.
Epstein feels it sets the wrong stage for Formula 1.
“The selling point behind Miami was not the track, it was the [original] backdrop,” he told ESPN.
“They said we want to be in global destinations with iconic backdrops.
“It does seem very off brand of them to have a parking-lot race.
“We don’t worry from a ticket sales point of view. I don’t worry that that will become a fan favourite.
“It’s not going to be a spectacular track but I do worry the impact it would have long-term in this market.
“I have never had a problem with another race in the same time zone and I’ve always welcomed the push for more U.S. races, but only if done the correct way.
“We dealt with the issues around the addition of the Mexican Grand Prix and the loss of revenue that initially gave us, but it’s clear they’ve built something there.”
Epstein also criticised Liberty Media, calling them up on their failure to speak to him about the way forward in the United States.
“If you asked me, when Liberty bought the business – since we’ve been the only one promoting F1 in the US and have been so successful in it – have they asked us how we’ve done it?
“Have they asked us for any help in building the sport in the US? Have they asked us for any advice? In every case I would say no.”