Gene Haas backs troubled Austin F1 venue to survive current plight

Incoming Formula 1 team owner Gene Haas is certain the Austin circuit can find a way to overcome its financial difficulties and remain as United States Grand Prix host

Gene Haas backs troubled Austin F1 venue to survive current plight

Circuit of the Americas chairman Bobby Epstein told Autosport in November that the race's future "is not looking good" after the State of Texas reduced its annual subsidy for the F1 event from $25million to $19.5million.

That came on top of financial losses caused by the torrential rain that hit the 2015 US GP weekend.

Haas, whose US-based team joins the F1 grid this season, remains optimistic for Austin.

"There are always these concerns but it's a beautiful track, they have invested a lot of money so I don't think they are going to scrap it," Haas said.

"It brings a lot of money into the city of Austin in taxes.

"Maybe the financial formula changes a little bit but I can't imagine why they wouldn't want to have an event like that.

"No matter what happens it's a beautiful track and it will survive. I cannot imagine that track not being used."

He is sure F1 will remain in America - and even expand its presence - regardless of Austin's fate.

"They have talked about having a venue in Anaheim, California and in New Jersey," Haas said.

"We've got one in Mexico City and one in Canada.

"The question is will there be three races in North America or four? It won't be like there are no races in North America."

The State of Texas originally made a $250million commitment to the F1 race over 10 years.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said in November: "If it's changed, it's going to be difficult to continue the race in Austin."

The COTA project was built around the idea that the race qualified for a subsidy that is paid to major events to reflect the income that they generate for the cities that host them.

This is in effect based on how much tax revenue out-of-state visitors generate during their stay.

The 2016 US GP is scheduled for October 23, but it appears on the F1 calendar with a "subject to an agreement with the promoter" caveat.

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