Start, Jacarepagua, 1989

Start shots special: Former F1 tracks

F1 picturesPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Last year we scoured the image archives for classic pictures of F1 race starts at current grand prix venues.

In the last edition of the series, look back on a dozen popular former F1 circuits and how they changed before the sport eventually moved on.

Adelaide, Australia

Start, Adelaide, 1985
Start, Adelaide, 1985

The Adelaide street circuit was F1’s first home in Australia. Its first and last races were won by Williams – Keke Rosberg took the honours in 1985 and Damon Hill did so ten years later.

Start, Adelaide, 1992
Start, Adelaide, 1992

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Anderstorp, Sweden

Start, Anderstorp, 1973 Swedish Grand Prix
Start, Anderstorp, 1973

Sweden’s Anderstorp circuit, which was partly build on a runway, hosted its first F1 race in 1973 with home hero Ronnie Peterson on pole position.

The track had a habit of producing unusual results such as the only win’s for Tyrrell’s P34 six wheeler (1976) and Brabham’s BT46B ‘fan car’ (1978). It had a few strange features as well, such as separate start and finish lines and a pit lane in which the cars entered their garages on one side and exited through the other.

Start, Anderstorp, 1978
Start, Anderstorp, 1978

Brands Hatch, Great Britain

Start, Brands Hatch, 1968
Start, Brands Hatch, 1968

Brands Hatch bowed out as an F1 venue in 1986 after over two decades as one of the homes of the British and European Grands Prix. As these two pictures show its facilities were developed considerably during that time, but not quickly enough to keep pace with F1’s needs.

Start, Brands Hatch, 1985
Start, Brands Hatch, 1985

Estoril, Portugal

Start, Estoril, 1984
Start, Estoril, 1984

Estoril saw the closest ever championship conclusion when it held its first race in 1984 and the following year was the venue for Ayrton Senna’s first F1 victory in a memorable, rain-soaked race. Its penultimate race in 1995 was the first victory for Senna’s successor at Williams, David Coulthard.

Start, Estoril, 1995
Start, Estoril, 1995

Imola, Italy

Start, Imola, 1991
Start, Imola, 1991

he carnage at Imola during the 1994 led to it and many other F1 venues undergoing widespread changes, some of which can be seen in the picture below such as the high debris fences. Its final F1 race was in 2006, but unlike most of these former circuits it still has the necessary FIA licence to hold F1 races.

Start, Imola, 2003
Start, Imola, 2003

Indianapolis, USA

Start, Indianapolis, 2004
Start, Indianapolis, 2004

Formula One cars roared down the straight on the Indianapolis oval – in the wrong direction – at the start of every United States Grand Prix between 2000 and 2007. However the penultimate visit saw a multi-car crash triggered by McLaren’s Juan Pablo Montoya, who announced his immediate retirement from F1 a few days later.

Jacarepagua, Brazil

Start, Jacarepagua, 1985
Formation lap, Jacarepagua, 1985

Rio de Janeiro’s grand prix circuit was a flatter, less well-liked alternative to Interlagos in Sao Paulo, and held ten races before F1 moved on after 1989. That year Philippe Streiff was paralysed in a crash while testing his Tyrrell at the track.

An oval configuration was later added to the track which went on to hold CART IndyCar races. Sadly the circuit has now been torn up to be used as a site for this year’s Olympic Games.

Start, Jacarepagua, 1989
Start, Jacarepagua, 1989

Kyalami, South Africa

Start, Kyalami, 1985
Start, Kyalami, 1985

The last grand prix on the the original configuration of the Kyalami circuit took place amid rising disquiet over F1’s continued presence in South Africa under the Apartheid regime. It returned for two races on a truncated version of the circuit in 1992 and 1993.

Magny-Cours (Circuit Nevers), France

Start, Magny-Cours, 2001
Start, Magny-Cours, 2001

Formula One has been without a French Grand Prix for eight years. Magny-Cours was the last home for France’s round of the world championship, having taken over from Paul Ricard in 1991 thanks to the support of then-president Francois Mitterand. A handful of F1 teams tested there in 2013.

Start, Magny-Cours, 2008
Start, Magny-Cours, 2008

Paul Ricard, France

Start, Paul Ricard, 1983
Start, Paul Ricard, 1983

The Paul Ricard circuit was shortened in 1986 after a crash during testing which claimed the life of Elio de Angelis. The fast Verrerie turns at the start of the lap were replaced by a sharp right-hander which can be seen below. The change also reduced the length of a long Mistral straight, and made for one of the shortest lap times seen in F1.

Start, Paul Ricard, 1987
Start, Paul Ricard, 1987

Zandvoort, The Netherlands

Start, Zandvoort, 1965
Start, Zandvoort, 1965

The only home of the Dutch Grand Prix, Zandvoort was used for over three decades until F1 left it behind after 1985. In the sixties the cars started three-abreast on the main straight; by the eighties the narrowness of the start area was a clear shortcoming. The funnel effect caused by the pit wall pinched Clay Regazzoni into Rene Arnoux’s Renault, leaving the Williams driver without a front-left wheel.

Start, Zandvoort, 1979
Start, Zandvoort, 1979

Zolder, Belgium

Start, Zolder, 1978
Start, Zolder, 1978

When F1 cars outgrew the original, ultra-fast Spa-Francorchamps, Zolder stepped in to host the Belgian Grand Prix. The venue gained notoriety after Gilles Villeneuve was killed during qualifying in 1982. A year later F1 raced at the revised Spa for the first time, and after a farewell visit to Zolder in 1984 it never returned.

Over to you

What are your memories of these tracks? Did you see F1 race at any of them?

Have your say in the comments.

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