500,000 fans at 2023 F1 US GP? COTA chief confident of track handling such numbers

Celebrities Visit Williams Racing At Formula 1 United States Grand Prix
Fourth-placed Sergio Perez celebrates with fans after Red Bull won the 2022 F1 World Constructors Championship at the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on October 23, 2022, in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images for Williams Racing)

Circuit of The Americas' chief Bobby Epstein believes the venue can hit the half-a-million F1 spectators mark in 2023. The 2022 F1 United States Grand Prix welcomed a promising 440,000-strong crowd attendance over its three-day period.

Speaking to Motorsport, Epstein believes that a further evolved transit system and adequate promotions can help Austin reach their desired result. He said:

"We can get there. We're testing our bus system this year. It's a lot more robust. You go from 300 buses to 600, and if that works and the load times are possible, then this is really the litmus test for it. We've got to convert to mass transit, and if that works, then we can grow. So it could be next year."
Simply unforgettable. πŸ€ πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ #USGP #COTA10

Epstein, however, believes that the crowd experience is of the utmost importance and claims that the Texan venue is not willing to cram people. He said:

"I don't think it should be about necessarily getting to 500k, but carefully growing to make sure we can still handle the crowd. This is what we do. We don't drive the cars, we don't have anything to do with the quality of the racing. All we can do is worry about your parking, your food, your rest rooms and your fun, and the entertainment. And that's what we focus on."

The COTA track had built several grandstands this year to accommodate an extra 40,000 fans. The venue's ticket demand reached an all-time high and was sold out within minutes of going live.

Williams prepares Logan Sargeant to race as sole American F1 driver in 2023

Logan Sargeant will race for Williams in F1 next season if he manages to secure enough superlicense points in his current F2 season. There are two races to go in the series next month, where Sargeant will be required to finish in the top five overall if he is to secure his 40 superlicense points to be promoted in 2023.

Williams team principal Jost Capito has already announced him as Nicholas Latifi's replacement for next year. It all depends on how Sargeant fares in the remaining F2 races. Capito said:

"Yeah, we feel he's ready to race. Under the condition that he has enough Super Licence points after Abu Dhabi, he will be our second driver next year. He's had one season in F2, and I'm a fan of getting young drivers as quick through as possible into Formula 1 because the series below, the cars compare to Formula 1 cars… so get him in as quick as possible and find out if he's capable of staying in Formula 1 for a long time, which we believe he is."

Sargeant became a race winner in F2 this year and is touted to be a great talent. The Florida-born driver will undoubtedly be a great addition to the F1 grid next year.

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Edited by Anurag C
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