Eddie Gossage, the president of the Texas Motor Speedway, had strong words for Formula 1’s decision to race in Austin this November on the same weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup’s AAA Texas 500 in Fort Worth a couple hundred miles away.
It seems Gossage feels the decision was “foolish” and wasn’t too keen on F1’s scheduling. NASCAR over 30 races during its season but the majority of them are in the US. Formula 1 is a little different.
F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has offered some insight as to why Gossage may not understand the details involved, as he is not a global sport:
“We’ve a small problem they [NASCAR] don’t have – we have six jumbo jets to move around all our equipment, and we have to find the most sensible way to use them to do that,” Ecclestone told Press Association Sport via ESPN. “We have to be efficient, and bear in mind we may also encounter problems at an airport.
“There are issues that can occur, but he and other people do not realise these things. The race prior to the one in the US is in Russia, in Sochi. We’ve never been before, and we have to get out of there and into Austin. That is probably a lot easier than trying to get into Brazil, and then we have to get out of there (Sao Paulo) to go to Abu Dhabi. So he is extremely lucky he doesn’t have to do what we have to do.”
It’s also interesting that Gossage would feel threatened by the F1 event because NASCAR fans tend to describe F1 as a series they are not too interested in. Ecclestone does point out that the fan base is generally quite different and that F1 isn’t worried about the NASCAR race taking away from F1 attendance in Austin.