MARCH 10, 2016
Austin ends 2016 US GP uncertainty
US grand prix organisers brushed aside any doubts about the 2016 race by revealing Taylor Swift, one of the world's top pop acts, will perform at the October event.
It ends weeks of speculation about the future of the popular Austin race, after it was given only provisional status on the final 2016 calendar.
"(The race) is going to be here for a long time," track chief Bobby Epstein is quoted by the Times.
Earlier, Austin's race came under a cloud when the Texas government suddenly reduced its state contribution to the fee payable to Bernie Ecclestone.
The problem was worsened by torrential rain last year that badly hurt attendance, but Epstein told the local American Statesman newspaper that he intends to sell lots of tickets for 2016.
"We think that this year's event will restore funding to the level we need," he said.
And to help with that, the Circuit of the Americas has had to pay top dollar to secure the services of Taylor Swift.
"We had to make it financially irresistible to her," the Guardian quotes Epstein as saying, "but it is our fifth year celebration and we have reason to celebrate and sometimes you spend a little bit on special occasions."
Meanwhile, Manor has signed Alexander Rossi as a reserve driver this year, even though the Californian will also contest the entire Indycar calendar.
"He has one heck of a schedule ahead of him and it's a commitment that only the most disciplined of drivers would be able to manage," said team boss Dave Ryan.