MARCH 1, 2016
US GP hopes buoyed as Austin lowers tax bill
Hopes are increasing that the embattled US grand prix will in fact take place in October.
Currently, the popular Austin race is marked as "subject to confirmation" on the 2016 calendar, after the Texan government reduced its annual contribution to the race fee from $25 million to less than $20 million.
But F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone told Forbes at the weekend: "I think Austin will happen this year.
"(Race chief Bobby) Epstein is confident. He knows the money is coming," Ecclestone told the F1 business journalist Christian Sylt.
The reason for Ecclestone and Epstein's buoyed mood may have been explained on Tuesday, in a report by the local Austin newspaper American Statesman.
It explains that the Circuit of the Americas has reached an agreement with local authorities to lower the paper value of the venue by a staggering $180 million.
The report estimated the tax saving at about $13 million.
Officials declared in a statement: "Circuit of The Americas is glad to have this matter resolved and looks forward to a bright future as a contributing member of the community."