COTA US Grand Prix 'financially devastating' - COTA

The owner of the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin has labelled the United States Grand Prix as "financially devastating".

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The owner of the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin has labelled the United States Grand Prix as "financially devastating" after mixed weather conditions affected on-track action across the weekend.

Heavy rain from the nearby Hurricane Patricia meant third practice was abandoned altogether, while Saturday's qualifying session was moved to the race day morning " but was red flagged due to unsafe driving conditions in Texas.

Many fans were locked out of third practice for safety concerns, with others choosing to remain in the stands without seeing a single lap despite the inclement weather.

The circuit chairman Bobby Epstein said the event had not been as successful as they had hoped.

"It was a tough weekend," he told the Austin-American Statesman, before going on to describe the race as a "financially devastating weekend for the company".

"We lost millions on concessions," he added. "And we suffered from some fans having such a bad experience they won't be back, though I hope we can change their mind."

Attendance figures fell for the fourth successive year at COTA, dropping from an estimated 107,778 last year to 101,667 for Sunday's race " around a 16,000 drop from the inaugural 2012 event.

Epstein believes back-to-back race weekends, accompanied by Mexico's first grand prix following a 23-year absence, can be attributed for the decline in numbers.

The Mexico race hurt us, he said.

Epstein declined to give specific figures, but claims the drop in attendance from the Mexican population cost the track millions.

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