W Series Withdrawal Leaves Gap in F1 Schedule, COTA Chief Considers Bikes
A view of the COTA, with MotoGP bikes doing their thing on the circuit proper. Media sourced from COTA.
This past weekend, over 440,00 fans showed up to celebrate and enjoy Formula 1’s United States Grand Prix – the biggest attendance in recorded history, and one that speaks volumes to the category’s popularity.
The massive success in numbers isn’t lost on the chairman of the Circuit of The Americas (COTA), either – especially considering the fact that the present schedule has a gap to fill, thanks to the W Series withdrawing due to funding problems.
Naturally, COTA boss Bobby Epstein wants that gap filled ASAP for the next schedule – and believe it or not, he wants bikes on the circuit (though Formula 1 will be making the final decision on this).
“I’d love to see the motorcycles race during F1 weekend,” Epstein says simply in a report from Motorsport.com.
“I think it would be a lot of fun, and I think the fans would like it, so we’re exploring that….we can fill it up either way, two or three support series would be good.”
“If it can’t be an F2 or F3, I think we can get creative…[and] it doesn’t have to be MotoGP, it could be bikes, which would be good for MotoGP, because it would give them a nice platform.”
“In the past, if you go back, [F1 has] done some great celebrity races. That’s something we’ve got to consider.”
He has a point; with MotoGP outweighing Formula 1 in certain countries (Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea), and experiencing a similar number of followers on social media platforms such as Instagram (via VOI), our good motorcycle Grand Prix would be an interesting addition, at the very least.
As long as the homologation requirements match up for both sides of the paddock, welcoming a motorcycle race series into the Formula 1 weekend will be a breeze; as it stands, the homologation specifics are quite different, and will require serious tweaking before we see Lewis Hamilton next to Marc Marquez.
Stay tuned for updates, we’ll be sure to keep an eye out for any changes here; subscribe to our newsletter for better ease of access, drop a comment below letting us know what you think, and as ever – stay safe on the twisties.