Formula 1’s Netflix documentary series has had a significant impact on the amount of tickets sold for this year’s United States Grand Prix, according to Circuit of the Americas boss Bobby Epstein.

Circuit chief Epstein revealed that the first season of the ‘Drive to Survive’ documentary, which aired earlier this year on Netflix, has been the “biggest boost” to ticket sales for this season’s event, which is on course to be the best attended US Grand Prix since its return to the calendar.

"We are on track to have the biggest attendance of any race so far - the reserved seats already sold out in July,” Epstein told ESPN. “We are thinking of where we can build new grandstands to accommodate more fans.

"There's a lot of reasons for that - we have the music entertainment element which has been a huge help, but the fact we have built a base here at COTA is massive.

“We have established a good history, made it a tradition to come and race here. Looking beyond that, the Netflix series has been the biggest boost for U.S. fans we have had in terms of ticket sales.

"All our surveys on new customers suggest it's had a huge impact and a big benefit to F1. It really was a stroke of genius to get that put on.

“It's why we broadened what was offered on a weekend, in order to bring different people to the event, but the Netflix series has reached people we might never have reached otherwise."

And Epstein believes F1 has much to thank COTA for, with the circuit proving a popular addition on the calendar since its introduction in 2012, which a four-year spell without a race in the United States.

"I think it's right to say F1 wouldn't exist in the U.S. right now if we hadn't built a home for it here at COTA," Epstein explained.

"You just have to look at what we've done in U.S. and helping to build a fan base here - before ticket sales had been falling and it had been difficult for any circuit to establish itself as the home of F1.

"It was not how it is today, there were a lot of races on Mickey Mouse street circuits you can't build history on. It was the same with Indy - even if you ignore the 2005 incident, which was a pretty big black eye for F1, the circuit was still the home of the Indy 500, not F1.

"It was a bit like something you see a lot in the U.S. when a soccer match is put on in a baseball stadium. It's a big place and you can draw fans, but it's still a baseball stadium and always will be a baseball stadium. It's never going to be as good as the real thing. That's kind of where F1 was before our deal.”



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