Formula 1 treks the world over to some very special places, but often there’s a feel like something is missing when it comes to circuits on the calendar which don’t fully capture the essence of the sport for one reason or another. Below I go through my top five circuits which Formula 1 could visit.
- Watkins Glen International – United States
The Watkins Glen International circuit in the state of New York holds some historical significance within Formula 1 in 1961-1980, with a few layout changes in between. Current regulations may prohibit the sport to run there with the low-lying barriers that line certain parts of the circuit and little areas of tarmac run-off. But the right work and planning could certainly return the track to the calendar.
- Algarve International Circuit – Portugal
After Formula 1 lost Estoril on the calendar at the end of 1996, the Algarve circuit at Portimao is a superb place to return to in Portugal, currently holding a grade 2 rating within the FIA circuit grading list, but with some refinements it could easily be turned into a grade 1 track.
Boasting a 100,000 capacity as well as a five-star hotel and go-kart track among other attractions, the fast flowing gradient nature of the circuit makes for great racing action which could really do well for the sport as well as the local economy.
- Zandvoort – Netherlands
Located on the west coast of the country, the Dutch circuit of Zandvoort is a previous historical Formula 1 track which has looked into hosting a Grand Prix event once again thanks to the surge of support for their local hero Max Verstappen in recent years.
While the layout has changed since the sport held a race here in 1985, alterations to the circuit have seen it move to a place where close racing is possible, punishing drivers should they make a mistake. A race in the dunes would certainly be welcome back on the calendar.
- Brno – Czech Republic
Deep in the forests of the Czech countryside lies a ribbon of tarmac which is suited to world-class racing. The circuit is now offering a lot to other racing series, especially MotoGP, and the hills of Brno make for superfluous track action. While not many grandstands line the track, like Spa-Francorchamps the hills themselves provide a spectacular viewing area for the fans to witness the track action.
This is one of my personal favourites as it beckons to be driven faster and faster every lap, with a wide layout and flowing nature of the circuit, every corner provides an overtaking opportunity which not many tracks can boast. If heads of the sport could ever find a way to Brno, they wouldn’t regret it, I’m sure of it.
- Istanbul Park – Turkey
From 2005 to 2011 we were able to witness the Istanbul Park circuit in all its glory, I simply couldn’t leave this track off the list despite having been recently on the Formula 1 calendar. Hailed by all of the drivers for its challenging nature, especially the four-apex flat out left-hander of turn eight.
It’s a track which is sorely missed by everyone who knows what it brought to the sport in just seven years; if there ever was a way to get this race track back, Formula 1 will do so as quickly as possible.