It is quite “The Lewis Hamilton Era” in the industry of professional racing. With 73 Grand Prix wins, he is regarded as one of the best in Formula 1. He is just 19 titles away from removing Michael Schumacher from the helm. The various titles he has won include, but aren’t limited to Austrian Grand Prix, Brazilian Grand Prix and Monaco Grand Prix. Though he has been a part of the Mercedes’ team in most of them, one key component is different. The racing circuit. Not all circuits are same and not all drivers have equal skill sets. The outcome of the race also depends on the circuit and the surroundings. So let’s take a peek at a vital factor, i.e. the racing track, which contributes a lot to the result of the Grand Prix.
69 – The number of circuits which have hosted atleast one Grand Prix, since its inception in 1950. Circuit de Catalunya, Silverstone, Circuit de Monaco and numerous other venues stand out like true jewels in the crown of the sport. Many of them have been modified (to some extent, atleast) in order to keep up with the face of F1.
The question is – How do we begin to rate them all!?
In this article, I’ve started with the total number of races held on the circuit, which in itself is a major contributing factor of the rank given to them. Other factors include the quality of the track layout, historical significance and the quality of racing produced in the tracks for a considerable amount of time. Ratings using reports, maps, witnesses and other available information were used a long time ago because it was a necessity then.
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
At the runner-up position in this article, this circuit has experienced over 46 races on its surface. Though the modern Spa-Francorchamps circuit bears only a passing resemblance to the fearsome track that once hosted grands prix, it has managed to retain its charm and majesty. The old layout was a 14.1-kilometre (8.8-mile) dangerous run around the Belgian countryside. Just like many other cut-down modern tracks, the circuit was left behind with the idea of a brighter future for F1. Old Spa hosted its final F1 race in 1970.
The new track made its F1 debut in 1983. It retained its famous corners such as Eau Rouge, Blanchimont and La Source, and downforce levels have made once-difficult corners easy. It surely is a contender for the best F1 circuit in the world right now!
Circuit de Monaco, Monaco
A tiny independent city-state on France’s Mediterranean coastline known for its prestigious Grand Prix motor race, which runs through its streets once a year, the world’s 2nd smallest country, Monaco has the best F1 circuit – Circuit de Monaco!
The Monaco Grand Prix has held a total 61 races in the World Championships era. The roads which were designed for the circuit were meant for everyday use. Hence, the circuit is totally unusable by the cars of today. As they were designed primarily for daily traffic, little consideration was given to the sport and the races are usually dull processions. This is mainly because of the fact that the straights aren’t usually long. There’s no room for modern safety features too. It’s the last true old street-style circuit in F1, but it’s allowed because it’s Monaco. Be it a teen or a 50-year old man: everyone has heard of it, irrespective of their interest in F1.
It has prestige, glamour, and when there’s an overtake in the streets meant for daily use, it’s a very graceful sight.
Autodrame Nazionale Milan, Italy
F1 is incomplete without Monza. It’s history more than qualified it to be a notable mention in the list. Since 1922, Monza has hosted the most number of F1 races, with Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher winning five apiece. All of this is backed up by the famous Tifosi, some of the most dedicated fans of the sport.
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