Five more great tracks F1 should visit

Rockingham Motor Speedway - this is where I\'d have the British Grand Prix

Rockingham Motor Speedway - this is where I'd have the British Grand Prix

The Potrero de los Funes track in Argentina got a big thumbs up from everyone when I suggested it as a potential new venue for Formula 1.

What other circuits are out there that F1 is yet to visit that would make great additions to the calendar? Here’s five suggestions of mine, post your favourites below…

Road America, USA

There are plenty of American circuits that F1 should visit: Laguna Seca and Road Atlanta are both excellent circuits. But my favourite is Road America, often dubbed the Spa-Francorchamps of the States.

It’s not hard to see how it’s earned that name. It’s long, fast, flowing and supremely challenging. Keep an eye out for Carousel and the daunting Kink on this video lap with Bruno Junquiera (around the two minute mark):

(Here is the location of the track on MSN Virtual Earth.)

Rockingham (Sports Car Circuit), Great Britain

Built at the beginning of this decade, Rockingham is an oval track that was built to hold CART races before the series fell into financial trouble. The oval hasn’t been used for a proper, full-blooded motor race in years, which is a great shame. I first went to Rockingham two years ago during a test session in December, on a freezing cold, blue-skyed day. It was impossible not to fall for the place, which feels like it’s been torn from American soil and dropped into the middle of Northamptonshire.

I’d love to see F1 cars racing on ovals too, though I suspect a lot of other F1 fans might not like that idea. But Rockingham’s sports car circuit configuration as used by the British Touring Car Championship could be ideal. Spectators would have a magnificent view of the whole track, and I bet the racing through the banked first corner towards the hairpin would be great.

Rockingham Sports Car circuit track map (anti-clockwise)

Aut???dromo El Zonda Eduardo Copello, Argentina

Does Argentina build the best racing circuits? I thought Potrero de los Funes was fabulous, the long version of Buenos Aires is one of my all-time favourites, and here’s another exciting Argentinian track with lots of character.

I don’t know much about El Zonda other than it’s built in a ravine next to a mountain. But it looks seriously cool – I’m a sucker for tracks with crossovers. Bringing it up to F1 safety standards would cost a fortune. That said, the video below is from 1997, so it may have been upgraded since then.

Aut???dromo El Zonda Eduardo Copello circuit map (anti-clockwise)


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Mount Panorama, Bathurst, Australia

The Potrero de los Funes track drew instant comparisons with Bathurst, home of Australia biggest motor sport event, the annual Bathurst 1000 Touring Car race.

The Mount Panorama circuit is one of a kind, though. First the cars climb a steep hill lined with concrete barriers, and the track gets even tighter and trickier as they pick their way back down the mountain. Then there’s the gigantic blast down the Conrod Straight, with a fearsomely fast kink at the end.

Having F1 cars race at Bathurst would be as unlikely as putting on a Grand Prix at the Bristol NASCAR oval. It would be spectacular though.

This video doesn’t show as much of the circuit – but there’s some vintage Murray Walker:

Mount Panorama circuit map (anti-clockwise)


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Ascari Race Resort, Spain

This private facility does not host any racing series – it’s a place for rich boys to take their toys. The circuit is a gem though, designed by Klaas Zwart and including several corners inspired by designs on famous great tracks such as Spa. It’s very quick, as this video shows:

Ascari race resort map (clockwise)


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What tracks do you think F1 should race at? Post your suggestions, links and videos below.

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45 comments on Five more great tracks F1 should visit

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  1. Seedy001 said on 28th November 2008, 9:56

    Thanks for the Champ Car and V8 Supercar memories, Keith! I also have that video of Murray, I think it was called ‘Murray’s Magic Moments’.

    I particularly agreed with Bathurst and Elkhart Lake being great for F1 but of course they’re like the new Argentinian track: just a dream these days for F1 no doubt. As is your cool suggestion of oval racing – I’d like a few of those!

    My suggestion would be a replacement for the dull Valencia scenery – either Surfers Paradise or the Norisring… my two favourite street tracks and DTM races at Norisring are crazy.

    I also noticed its hard to see the track diagrams sometimes when you use Google maps and thought this site might interest you … it gives you track lengths, good maps and sometimes even a bit of historical background.

  2. Alex Cooper said on 28th November 2008, 10:32

    I’d love to see an F1 car on the corkscrew at Laguna Seca.

  3. I’d love to see racing return to Mexico City, Long Beach and the full Hockenheim.

    I guess I’ll have to just dig out my old VHS tapes instead though.

  4. Jonesracing82 said on 28th November 2008, 10:47

    the annual Bathurst race is 1000KM not 500KM :)

  5. yorricksfriend said on 28th November 2008, 10:50

    It’s actually the Bathurst 1000 Keith – 1000km – takes 6 and half hours

  6. Yeah a 100% oval F1 race sounds a good idea…… Anyone know why F1 used the infield section at Indianapolis and not the whole oval?
    Rockingham should be used instead of Donnington……

  7. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 28th November 2008, 10:52

    Thanks guys, fixed. Anyone been? I’d love to go…

  8. I love to see F1 go to Macau thats an amazing track.

  9. Chalky said on 28th November 2008, 11:18

    I’ve watched 2 CART races at Rockingham. I think they may have been the only 2? I’ve also driven the oval in their single seater experience.

    I believe that Rockingham should have been made a bigger oval. It’s a shame as the facility is top class. Unfortunately Champ cars were lapping in just over 20secs a lap! It’s crazy speed and only 1 spot became sensible enough to overtake on. They should have extended the straights between turns 1 & 2 and 3 &4 making a longer looking oval. At no point were the Champ cars getting into a decent draft.

    I haven’t seen any racing on the infield or driven it, but I would be concerned about passing places for F1. Maybe only the first hairpin would be a good passing place. Again if the oval had been extended, maybe a longer infield could have been created?

    Good viewing for the trackside fans in the stands. Not so sure about the TV audience due to lack of elevation changes.

  10. yorricksfriend said on 28th November 2008, 11:24

    @ Keith, nah I’m afraid I haven’t been but I certainly watch it every year – Definitely going to the Bathurst 1000 is something I will do in the future. Great article by the way, F1 cars at Mt Panorama would really be something, but to make it comply you’d probably have to blow up half the mountain to get the access roads in

  11. ceedas said on 28th November 2008, 11:51

    I went to Rockingham a few times as a marshal when it opened, and whilst I think it’s a great race track, I don’t think that it could cope with F1 cars on the infield – unless you wanted a complete procession. Apart from turn 1, there’s nowhere to pass on that circuit.

    Road America on the other hand is a proper circuit and has long been my favourite US circuit, along with Mid-Ohio. I remember watching champcar races round there and thinking that the US GP would be much better off there rather than Indianapolis.

  12. Jonesracing82 said on 28th November 2008, 12:10

    not been to Bathurst but i have heard some crazy stories, a rev head’s haven!
    i have heard u have to take the wednesday to wednesday off work!, u get there and drink, drink and drink some more!
    the crowds camping there do burnouts n crazy stuff late at night in done up ****heaps they have painted in the race teams colors!
    i am sure the infamous ‘mullet’ hairdo isnt far away either!

  13. “…and I bet the racing through the banked first corner towards the hairpin would be great.”

    OR…we would have a repeat of what happened at the USGP in 2006. But, I will go with you on this one, Keith. I would like to see F1 do an oval or two.

  14. Adrian said on 28th November 2008, 12:38

    Is it just me or does the track at Road America look a bit narrow in places..??

  15. It isn’t too bad, they have Indycars racing on them and they are wider than F1 cars.

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