Circuit of the Americas boss Bobby Epstein has hailed the effect of Netflix's 'Drive to Survive' series on his F1 event as akin to pouring "rocket fuel on a fire that was already burning".
Formula 1 will long remember the three days at the Circuit of the Americas this year as the sport finally suggested it had cracked the American market as a spectacular event was staged.
The upshot was a new three-day attendance record for F1 of nearly 400,000 which at least witnessed some excellent on-track activity, culminating in a captivating battle between title protagonists Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.
Reflecting on what was the last race of his event's 10-year contract with F1, speaking to GPFans Global, Epstein said: "The fans showed up, they brought the energy and the life to it, and it makes a difference.
"You have all the things planned and you envisage what might happen, but until the fans come and bring the energy, it's incomplete.
"I'm not sure it was the biggest F1 event ever but I am sure it was one of the greatest F1 events ever. We are focused on making it a great experience more than we are on a big one.
"But what happened was phenomenal. It really exceeded our expectations. To every person that works here, it's overwhelming that it feels so good."
Questioned on whether the event would have been so successful but for the Netflix series, Epstein added: "Would we have had that without the Netflix effect? I don't know.
"But the event has legs. Netflix has just put rocket fuel on a fire that was already burning, and on top of it, you have a real battle happening on the track.
"So it's an incredible situation, and I think everyone that came to this event - at least I hope - feels really good about what they were a part of and every person who attended contributed to making it such a special day for everyone."
As to the future, after sitting down with Stefano Domenicali after the race, Epstein revealed F1's CEO was "elated".
He added: "He shares a lot of pride in what happened. He's probably on a high feeling good about what happened."
Epstein is adamant Sunday's race was not the last F1 has seen of Austin. "No way," he insisted. "We're close [to signing a new contract], we're really close. It doesn't end here, for sure."
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