Lewis Hamilton has called on Bernie Ecclestone to do his bit to ensure the United States Grand Prix stays at the Circuit of the Americas after a withdrawal of state funding put the race under threat.
The Austin circuit is understood to have been receiving a subsidy of $250 million over a 10-year period from the Texan state due to the economic boost F1 brought to the area. However, published sources claim the annual payment will drop from $25 million to between $18.5-19 million after the state government altered its formulas measuring economic impact.
It comes after the venue sustained significant damage in storms over two consecutive weekends, while the inclusion of the Mexican Grand Prix to this year's schedule is also believed to have impacted ticket sales for 2015 race.
For the time being, US Grand Prix organisers remain confident that the event's exposure and promotion of Austin can ensure its survival, despite the reduced external funding.
“The grand prix is a cornerstone event that brings global exposure to Austin and makes the circuit a year-round destination for sports and entertainment,” organisers told the BBC
. “We're hopeful Formula 1 will continue to race here."
Having established itself as a popular fixture on the calendar for drivers since its F1 debut in 2012, Hamilton – who cinched his third title at the Austin venue last month – has called upon Ecclestone to ensure the race continues.
“I think it would definitely be a shame for the sport to lose a race in the U.S. It's one of the best races and it was the best race this year. The sport – Bernie and those guys – need to figure out a way to make sure it happens.”