Top 20 Racetracks You Have to Drive

Racetracks You Have to Drive

Since the Formula One World Championship era began in 1950, 69 circuits have facilitated at least one grand Prix.

Similar to Spa-Francorchamps, Silverstone, and Monza, a few stand out as obvious gems in the game’s crown. Modified over the course of the years to stay aware of the changing face of F1, these circuits never lost their character.

This score is then used to rank the circuits as far as their overall contribution to the historical backdrop of F1.

Utilizing this formula, here are the best 20 F1 circuits of all time.

Top 20 Racetracks You Have to Drive

20. Albert Park, Australia

Races: 18. F1 Factor: 13.

Score: 234.

The Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Albert Park (the name by which it’s all the more ordinarily known) first facilitated the Australian Grand Prix in 1996, but its racing history returns far.

A circuit almost identical to the one utilized today facilitated two non-championship races during the 1950s.

It will, in general, produce invigorating races, but that’s usually because it’s among the initial races of any given season. And while the location is staggering, the circuit is flat and somewhat bland.

Taking over from a much-cherished scene like the Adelaide Street Circuit was never going to be easy.

But at least Albert Park has a couple of challenging corners, and it’s the perfect type of track at which to start another season.

19. Brands Hatch, United Kingdom

Races: 14. F1 Factor: 17.

Score: 238.

Brands Hatch started life as an earth track way back during the 1920s, but the tarmac course was laid down during the 1950s.

It facilitated the British Grand Prix without precedent for 1964 and alternated with Silverstone until 1986. In addition, it facilitated two European Grands Prix in 1983 and 1985.

Favored with a staggering natural amphitheater setting, Brands boasted some spectacular corners and was a favorite with the drivers. The feature then as it is now was Paddock Hill Bend, an absurdly steep downhill right-hander at the finish of the pit straight.

Sadly, the circuit was tiny and cramped. Cars were getting faster, and safety requirements were rising, so 1986’s race was the last time F1 visited Brands Hatch.

It’s probably not going to at any point return.

18. Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico

Races: 15. F1 Factor: 16.

Score: 240.

Located in the urban heart of sprawling Mexico City, the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez arrived on the F1 scene in 1963. Then called Magdalena Mixhuca, it remained on the calendar until 1970.

That race was marred by swarm inconvenience, and protecting title holder Jackie Stewart had to resign after hitting a dog on the circuit.

The next year’s race was canceled, but F1 returned in 1986. The track had been abbreviated marginally, and the safety featured had been greatly improved.

But it was increasingly rough, and the swarming issues never completely disappeared. No race was booked for 1993.

Lately, talk arose of bringing the Mexican Grand Prix back, and it looks set to happen in 2015.

The renovated Autodromo will again be the scene.

17. Sepang, Malaysia

Races: 15. F1 Factor: 16.

Score: 240.

The Sepang International Circuit was the first of the new variety of circuits that now dominate F1. Planned by Hermann Tilke, it initially facilitated the Malaysian Grand Prix in 1999.

New, ultramodern, and featuring some magnificent corners, Sepang got universal praise. The drivers cherished this because it’s anything but an authentic challenge, and most fansagreedt that it’s anything but an excellent track.

Little has changed from that point forward. As increasingly more Tilke creations are added, Sepang keeps on standing out as perhaps the best circuit on the calendar.

It’s arguably his best creation to date, with Turns 1, 5, and 6 among the features.

Not all things get better with age.

16. Kyalami, South Africa

Races: 20. F1 Factor: 15.

Score: 300.

After three races in the confusingly named East London, the South African Grand Prix moved to Kyalami in 1962.

The original circuit was one of the fastest on the calendar and home to the race until 1985.

F1 had to this point, opposed mounting international strain to blocklist South Africa because of the apartheid system, but eventually, the powers-that-be caved in. The 1986 race was canceled.

The new layout was utilized without precedent for 1992, and it appears to be the place where Hermann Tilke took inspiration for the Buddh International Circuit (compare them here and here).

It was increasingly slow than the old course, and the renewed race never really took off.

After only two years, F1 departed. A return is improbable.

15. Hungaroring, Hungary

Races: 28. F1 Factor: 11.

Score: 308.

It was considered a significant overthrow when Bernie Ecclestone announced F1’s first race behind the Iron Curtain in 1986. The Hungaroring, in then-socialist Hungary, was the setting.

With the whole state behind them, the fashioners might have created something special.

Instead, they made a lethargic, twisty little track without a solitary notable corner.

It’s anything but all bad. The elevation changes add interest, and the relentless series of corners give a real challenge to the drivers.

Changes in 2003 made overtaking marginally, even more, a chance, and the proliferation of ultramodern circuits means the Hungaroring is one of a steadily shrinking number of old-style tracks.

But F1 appears to have grown out of the setting. As the game pushes increasingly more to work on the spectacle, this circuit may be abandoned.

14. Circuit De Catalunya, Spain

Races: 23. F1 Factor: 14.

Score: 322.

The Circuit de Catalunya previously facilitated the Spanish Grand Prix in 1991. It’s anything but a memorable moment, as Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell had their exciting next to each other duel down the main straight in the circuit’s first-historically speaking race.

The drivers and teams appreciated its thrilling blend of moderate, medium, and fast corners; it’s anything but a popular scene for testing.

Sadly, it doesn’t produce great races anymore.

As aerodynamics became increasingly more important in car performance throughout the 1990s, drivers could presently don’t finish the final area intently and were excessively far behind to challenge the pit straight.

Changes were made in 2007 trying to cure this, and DRS has helped as well.

But a larger update is required for Catalunya to at any point reliably produce great races again.

13. Watkins Glen, United States

Races: 20. F1 Factor: 17.

Score: 340.

The roads around the village of Watkins Glen had facilitated motorsports occasions as far back as the 1940s, but the circuit fans know and love was laid down in 1956.

It facilitated its initial United States Grand Prix five years later, in 1961.

The race at The Glen immediately became a critical fixture in the F1 calendar, attracting large groups and giving the game a genuine home in the United States.

But as the cars became faster and further developed, worries over safety developed as well. Modifications were made, but they just delayed the inevitable.

12. Imola, Italy

Races: 27. F1 Factor: 15.

Score: 405.

Officially known as the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola facilitated the Italian Grand Prix in 1980.

The next year it was awarded its own race, the San Marino Grand Prix (named after the nearby country because there was already an Italian Grand Prix). The race was held each year until 2006.

For many, Imola is associated with one dark end of the week in 1994. Rubens Barrichello endured a nasty accident in practice on Friday and was fortunate to escape without more genuine injury.

In qualifying the following day, Austrian driver Roland Ratzenberger lost his life in a heavy crash at Villeneuve. And in Sunday’s race, Ayrton Senna kicked the bucket after going straight on at Tamburello.

Changes were made to the circuit, and when F1 departed in 2006, it’s anything but a totally different Imola behind.

The track has been upgraded further from that point forward, and a return isn’t feasible.

11. Osterreichring/A1 Ring

Races: 25. F1 Factor: 17.

Score: 425.

This circuit started in 1969 as the Osterreichring, facilitating the Austrian Grand Prix interestingly the next year. It was perhaps the most beautiful tracks F1 has at any point seen, rising and falling, however, the Styrian mountains in Austria.

Sadly, it woefully lacked in safety features. High-velocity corners dominated, with minimal in the way of run-off or insurance from the view.

By one way or another, it’s anything but a structure almost identical to the original layout until 1987, when it facilitated its last race.

A decade later, F1 cars got back to Austria and tracked down a totally different circuit waiting for them. Now called the A1-Ring, the new track was a more limited, more slow, sterile variant of the old beast that once involved the same spot.

But by one way or another, the little seven-corner circuit worked. Enough of the old Osterreichring’s beauty was retained, and races would, in general, be superior to average.

It was Hermann Tilke’s first full-circuit plan and one of his best.

F1 departed in 2003 but will return in 2014.

10. Suzuka, Japan

Races: 25. F1 Factor: 18.

Score: 475.

Worked as a Honda test track in 1962, Suzuka facilitated its first Japanese Grand Prix in 1987.

It’s anything but a favorite of fans and drivers alike, and its usual place toward the finish of the calendar has prompted 13 titleholders having been delegated here—some more controversially than others.

Suzuka was famously the location of two of the most unsavory championship deciders in F1 history. In 1989 Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost crashed at the chicane, and Prost took the title.

Suzuka is a rare example of a circuit that has stood the test of time. Even the trained eye struggles to spot the differences between the current layout and the one on which the first race was held.

It actually punishes mistakes, a rarity in the modern era.

The Esses section is one of the finest sequences in the motoring world, and corners like Spoon and 130R stand out as highlights.

9. Zandvoort, Netherlands

Races: 30. F1 Factor: 17.

Score: 510.

Fabricated a short distance from the sea on the northern coast of the Netherlands, Zandvoort initially facilitated the Dutch Grand Prix in 1952.

In the same way as other circuits of the day, it’s anything but a fast, streaming layout with few safety features. In the early decades, this was accepted, but in 1972 the drivers would not race at Zandvoort, considering it excessively dangerous.

Improvements were immediately made, and the circuit got back to the calendar the next year. But notwithstanding the improvements, Zandvoort was always on the foundation of uncertain times.

It held its final race in 1985.

Part of the track was sold, and another layout now graces the sand rises—but F1 is probably not going to return.

8. Hockenheimring, Germany

Races: 33. F1 Factor: 16.

Score: 528.

Hockenheim was built during the 1930s in the woods of Baden-Wurttemberg, and a cut-down adaptation of the original layout initially facilitated a German Grand Prix in 1970.

The circuit was basic but viable—the majority of the 6.8-kilometer (4.2-mile) circuit was made up of four long straights linked by three lethargic chicanes. A tight “stadium” area at the finish of the lap added some variety.

With an enormous distance between one finish of the circuit and the other, it was not unexpected for the rain to be falling in certain segments while others were arid.

Hockenheim made due in this structure until the early 2000s, but the F1 world was pushing for increasingly elevated safety standards, and eventually, it had to be changed.

An upgraded Hockenheim made its debut in 2002. The long, fast circle through the woods was persuaded to retire, and the overall length slice to 4.6-kilometers (2.8-miles).

The new layout isn’t horrendous, but it’s anything but especially great, either. Hockenheim no longer stands out as a special circuit—an unfortunate but necessary survivor of present-day F1.

7. Interlagos, Brazil

Races: 31. F1 Factor: 18.

Score: 558.

The Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, generally known as Interlagos (its original name, but one which is lost in 1975), held the primary ever Brazilian Grand Prix in 1973.

The variant utilized for that race was quite possibly the most firmly packed circuits F1 has at any point seen. At a shade under eight kilometers long, it was abandoned by the really demanding safety standards of F1.

6. Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Canada

Races: 34. F1 Factor: 18.

Score: 612.

Perched upon the artificial Ile Notre Dame in the St. Lawrence River, Montreal, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is one of present-day F1’s most dearly cherished settings. Since it was first utilized in 1978, no other circuit has held a Canadian Grand Prix.

Its beauty lies in its straightforwardness. However, it’s anything but a marginally more intricate layout. The current track is essentially two hairpins associated with a couple of chicanes and some long straights.

It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it works.

No circuit on the current calendar is as great at reliably producing great races. Overtaking has always been conceivable (however, DRS has made it too easy as of late), and close racing is almost guaranteed.

Montreal is confirmation a circuit doesn’t require a “perfect” blend of corner types and artificially crafted overtaking zones.

5. Nurburgring, Germany

Races: 40. F1 Factor: 18.

Score: 720.

In the early days of F1, it wasn’t exceptional for races to be run on open roads. Such circuits would, in general, belong, fast and dangerous—and the Granddaddy of them all was the Nurburgring’s Nordschleife (northern circle).

More than 22 kilometers (14 miles) long, the Nordschleife featured leaps, banking, daze peaks, and 160 corners. F1 has never seen a greater trial of man and machine, and it never again will.

4. Silverstone, United Kingdom

Races: 47. F1 Factor: 19

Score: 893.

Silverstone facilitated the first-historically speaking race of the big showdown era, all the way back in May 1950. From that point forward, it has held the British Grand Prix multiple times.

The land whereupon the circuit lies started life as RAF Silverstone, a training base for British air groups flying the Wellington plane. Opened in 1943, it was utilized until the finish of World War II.

Fortunately, the character of the place has always been retained, and the Maggots-Becketts-Chapel complex stands out as outstanding amongst other speedy corner successions on the planet.

Fast and streaming, Silverstone remains a favorite of drivers and fans alike.

3. Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium

Races: 46. F1 Factor: 20.

Score: 920.

The advanced Spa-Francorchamps circuit bears just a passing resemblance to the fearsome old beast that once facilitated the grand Prix.

But not at all like such countless other cut-down current tracks, Spa managed to retain its charm and majesty.

2. Circuit De Monaco, Monaco

Races: 61. F1 Factor: 18.

Score: 1,098.

Held around the roads of the world’s second-smallest country, the Monaco Grand Prix has taken place multiple times in the big showdown era.

It’s the last evident, old-style road circuit in F1. The roads it runs on were planned primarily for everyday traffic, with little consideration given to the game. And it shows—the circuit is totally unsuitable for the cars of today.

1. Monza, Italy

Races: 63. F1 Factor: 18.

Score: 1,134.

Since the big showdown era, no circuit has facilitated a bigger number of grands Prix than Monza.

Located in the same name, a couple of miles north of Milan, this track started life in 1922. The layout back then incorporated a banked oval, but the rest was almost identical to the circuit we see today.

Chicanes have been added, and a few turns have been marginally re-profiled, but drivers of each era negotiated corners like Curva Grande, the Lesmos, and Parabolica.

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