COTA announces new F1 contract to keep US Grand Prix until 2026


Formula 1 has signed a new deal for the United States Grand Prix to remain at the Circuit of the Americas for another five years

Circuit of the AMericas, 2021 F1 GP

The Circuit of the Americas will remain on the calendar F1 has confirmed

Grand Prix Photo

The United States Grand Prix will remain at the Circuit of the Americas after the popular Texas venue announced a new five-year deal to remain on the calendar up to the 2026 season.

The Austin circuit has hosted the US Grand Prix since 2012 and had its biggest year yet in 2021 when a record-breaking 400,000 spectators turned up across the weekend. On the Sunday, 140,000 watched Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton in a closely-fought battle.

A carnival-like atmosphere amongst the record sell-out crowd was a visible sign of F1’s growing popularity in the US, which is expected host three races a season in future. Las Vegas is tipped to join COTA and Miami in hosting grands prix.

Stefano Domenicali, F1’s president and CEO praised the race promoters for their work in boosting F1’s popularity in America, helped along by Netflix’s behind-the-scenes Drive to Survive series.

“We are thrilled to be announcing the extension with the Circuit of the Americas ahead of the exciting new 2022 season,” he said. “I want to thank the promoter for their ongoing dedication and enthusiasm for Formula 1 where together we are continuing to grow the excitement around our sport in the US.

“Austin is a great city, and the track is a favourite for all the drivers, and we cannot wait to be back in October for more action and entertainment.”

COTA’s fast curves and undulations make it a popular venue on the calendar, earning almost universal praise from drivers for its challenging and exhilarating nature, but its construction on unstable soil requires regular maintenance. It has undergone several resurfacing projects since joining the calendar, with Turns 7-12 due to be worked on this year.

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Last season, MotoGP riders highlighted problem areas early in the season and there were still issues when F1 arrived, with Hamilton describing the track surface as the “bumpiest track he’d ever been on” after the 2019 practice sessions.

It was suggested that F1 had demanded a solution before extending the circuit’s hosting deal, that has previously been denied by founding partner Bobby Epstein.

“The United States Grand Prix has become one of the biggest and greatest events in the world,” he said. “We are extremely proud it has found a home in Texas – at Circuit of The Americas – and are grateful to the millions of fans who visited us over our first decade.

“We knew Austin, along with our neighbours in San Antonio and beyond, would be welcoming hosts – and they proved it. Thanks to everyone in the Formula 1 community for supporting our endeavours and rewarding our hard work. We are glad to have renewed our commitments and look forward to many more years of World Championship racing, entertainment, and fun.”