Nov 19 2012
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone feels the passionate backing of the city of Austin ensured the United States Grand Prix proved to be a resounding success - and will be for years to come.
When the Texas capital was first mooted as a venue it raised doubts, with suggestions F1 would never work in an area renowned for its love of NASCAR. But in front of a crowd of 117,429 on Sunday - and an overall three-day attendance of 265,499 - it was clear the public truly embraced Formula One that was back Stateside after a five-year absence.
Downtown Austin was also a hive of activity, giving F1 a home in the United States it has long craved, and Ecclestone said: "Everything's good, and everyone in Austin seems happy. It's good when you do something and it works."
At one point last year it also appeared as if the circuit would not be built due to various disputes and contractual problems, and Ecclestone continued: "It has been much better than I expected, partcularly when you think that 12 months ago there wasn't a race
"Hopefully we'll have another couple of events (in America) in the future, so we will see what happens."
Without doubt, the success of the grand prix will be measured by what transpires next year and how many fans turn up.
As with any new event there is always the novelty factor before a drop-off in attendance the second time around.
Ecclestone feels Austin could buck that trend, adding: "The second year is always difficult.
"You get a big crowd for a new event, but here you can see they are behind us, which is good.
"The governor of Texas (Rick Perry) said we are going to get a bigger crowd next year. He's confident of that."