The 2020 F1 U.S. Grand Prix will not go on this fall at Austin's Circuit of The Americas, the race track's chairman said July 24, as uncertainty around the pandemic continues to hover over all scheduled major events through at least the end of the year.
The F1 U.S. Grand Prix, which draws international crowds down to Southeast Austin's Circuit of The Americas, was scheduled for Oct. 22-25. As one of Austin's largest fall events, the race includes a weekend of festivities and headlining musical acts. The cancellation comes as Texas and the rest of the country continue to grapple with the coronavirus, Circuit of The Americas, or COTA, chairman Bobby Epstein said in a July 24 statement.
"The cancellation is prudent, but painful," Epstein wrote in a statement. "After a sold out 2019, advance ticket sales deposits were up nearly 250% over the prior year, and our staff was preparing our biggest event ever. 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!"
Circuit of The Americas is home to several other major events throughout the year. It is home to Austin's United Soccer League team, the Austin Bold FC; welcomes international touring musical acts; and hosts the U.S. MotoGP, a high-speed motorcycle race circuit akin to F1 racing. The Austin Bold FC restarted their season this month but have played in empty stadiums, and concerts have been on hold since the virus began to spread locally. MotoGP, initially scheduled for April, was pushed back to mid-November; however, earlier this month, COTA officially announced the event's cancellation.
In his statement announcing the cancellation of F1 U.S. Grand Prix, Epstein lamented yet another loss for the venue.
"We had secured blockbuster performers for the evening shows, and the racing this year is fantastic," Epstein wrote. "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."