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Desire to make the sport more global has led to the expansion into Asia and the Middle-East (and the vast amounts of money that comes with races in these country). The fear has always been that the classic European circuits—the spiritual home of F1—are going to be left behind.

All the more reason, then, to reminisce about the great circuits which once graced the F1 calendar. We bring you some tracks we’d love to see back on the F1 calendar.


If we’re going to get all dreamy with an addition to the F1 schedule, why not a track which was the brainchild of a wrestler, developed in conjunction with a journalist and two grand prix winners and that hosted one of the best battles in motor racing history. It’s got to be Dijon-Prenois.

The beautiful flowing circuit held F1 races between 1974 and 1984, but has always struggled for funding and slipped off the calendar. However, with some investment, the track’s brilliant mix of high- and low-speed corners and a long straight could form the basis of a superb French Grand Prix.

The nearby city of Dijon is used to holding big events with a Gastronomic Fair each year attracting 200,000 people, so the facilities are there. Despite still holding racing – mostly historic now – the track needs a lick of paint and some updated safety bits. But after that, it would be ready to go. However, don’t expect wheel-banging in modern F1 cars to the same extent as Gilles Villeneuve and Rene Arnoux famously achieved


Few had any complaints about Melbourne’s Albert Park track when F1 switched Australian homes back in 1996, but most still pined for Adelaide and wished there had been a way to keep both circuits on the calendar.

For the purposes of this feature, I’m casting aside any ‘can this country justify having two grands prix?’ practicalities and declaring that there’d be nothing wrong with a season starting in Melbourne and finishing in Adelaide – where a truncated version of the old F1 circuit still hosts Supercars.

That season-closing slot is important: despite having the finale role for 11 years, Adelaide was only twice a title decider and frankly a track this fun and challenging deserved better than to be stuck in an era of early-clinched championships. After all, the two deciders it did hold – 1986 and 1994 – were unforgettable.

And if the championship’s settled early, then by the actual finale the ‘end-of-term, not much to lose now’ vibe can mean a gloriously messy race if the venue allows for it. Abu Dhabi, frankly, doesn’t. But classically nutty Adelaide races such as its 1985 and 1995 events in particular showed how unpredictable things could get when a ‘school’s out’ F1 field hit the Australian streets. 



Carlos Reutemann thrashing a 1994 Ferrari around the Circuito Oscar Galvez ahead of the free practice sessions upon F1 returning to Buenos Aires in 1995 was perhaps the most visceral memory of the last Argentinian Grand Prix era.

His generation-spanning appearance stirred up some much-needed nostalgia around Argentina’s return after a 14-year absence because the track was, as feared, severely emasculated from its previous iteration (known as No.15) that hosted grands prix from 1974-1981. And that’s the layout I’d want F1 to use if it came back.

The track would actually need only a little work to revive the No.15 layout and most of it is still used for the local Turismo Carretera series that features former F1 backmarkers Gaston Mazzacane and Norberto Fontana.

The defining challenges of this 3.6-mile layout featured a sweeping right/left to begin the lap. It was here in 1979 that John Watson was given the scapegoat tag and a hefty fine thanks to a pugnacious Jean-Marie Balestre for being deemed to have triggered a race-stopping pile-up.

After the sweeps came a long straight to a parabolic curve that linked onto a returning straight that ran parallel to a local lake. From there the track became more conventional and sinuous and for sure is the only track that featured a corner named after the Argentinian percussion instrument – the Cajón!

Of course ‘Lole’ (Reutemann) never won his home race but the nation’s most famous son Juan Manuel Fangio did four times across 1954-57.

But the true king of the No.15 track configuration was surely Nelson Piquet, who silenced the Lole fans in 1981 when he, or more pertinently Brabham designer Gordon Murray, deployed the outrageous and wonderful hydro-pneumatic suspension system. 


Has ever a circuit so little deserved its bad reputation as Magny-Cours? Complaints about its remote location were fair, but the dull, tedious track of conventional wisdom simply didn’t exist.

The Adelaide Hairpin at the end of the long back straight was a superb overtaking spot, and produced plenty of incidents as Michael Schumacher’s clash with Ayrton Senna in 1992 proved. In the 18 world championship races here, there was always wheel-to-wheel action there.


As for the driving challenge, Magny-Cours has a bit of everything, as you’d expect for a circuit that named most of its corners after other circuits. The fast left-hand Grande Courbe leading into the right-hand of Estoril at the start of the lap was spectacular.

There were brisk changes of direction at the Nurburgring and Imola flicks, while the seemingly innocuous right-hander at the end of the lap allowed Ayrton Senna to spin across the line to set a pole position time in 1991. In its revised form, this section allowed Rubens Barrichello to steal third place from Jarno Trulli at the end of the 2004 French Grand Prix.

A real challenge for the drivers and a circuit where things happen. An underrated (relatively) modern classic.


Long Beach, California about 20 miles south of LA. A tough, down-to-earth but financially viable place, with the USA’s second-biggest port and sitting on top of an oil field. You get the idea just from that: sunshine, prosperity but no airs and graces, oil workers and dockers as well as big city slickers. Glamorous but gritty. My kind of town – well, city actually.

Chris Pook’s kind of town too, a Long Beach-resident Brit who back in the ‘70s thought that the city’s streets would make a great ‘Monaco in California’ sort of track, winding its way past the port in which the Queen Mary sits in permanent dock, diving down the sort of streets you’d normally associate with a car chase in an American cop show, cresting rises where the cars go light, with bumpy slow corners where they get sideways under power. But, because it’s America, streets way wider than Monaco’s, so with a decent flow and the possibility of racing wheel-to-wheel.

It hosted a Tony Brise-starring F5000 race in 1975 and the following year welcomed the unfamiliar gloss of F1, which would return every year up to ’83 (remember Keke Rosberg’s early lap 360-degree spin when trying to pass Patrick Tambay?) before F1 priced itself out of Long Beach’s range and was replaced by IndyCar – which still races on a recognisable version of the track.


Is it me or has F1 had fewer wet races in recent years than in the past? One sure-fire way to solve that would be to head to Fuji towards the end of the year. The only issue here is, no matter how creative you get with a calendar, a pair of Japanese rounds at Fuji and Suzuka would be a stretch for F1 in the same year.

That massive calendar issue aside, Fuji has many of the ingredients to make a great F1 race. Its long straight would help with the current overtaking conundrum, and with the World Endurance Championship visiting annually, it has top facilities. And it’s much easier to get to than Suzuka thanks to its proximity to Tokyo, one hour and 25 minutes from Haneda Airport.

With Mount Fuji in the background, epic pictures won’t be a struggle, and Turns 4-9 would be absolutely breathtaking with the downforce modern F1 cars produce.


There are probably more fitting tracks to worry about reintroducing to the calendar, but Fuji is an F1-ready facility that would bring some weather challenges and a stunning lap in terms of scenery and corners.


formula 1 gp which we'd love to see back on  calendar BRANDS HATCH

OK, pushing the ‘Zandvoort rule’ of practicality now… I’ve been pondering at length how to make a modern F1 paddock/pitlane arrangement squeeze into Brands Hatch and can’t think of any solutions that don’t make me wince at the consequences for the character of the home of the Formula Ford Festival.

But it was Zandvoort that made me think of Brands – beautiful, fat-tyred, flame-spitting F1 cars sweeping through the barrier-lined Dutch dunes or going wheel to wheel into Tarzan are as iconic an image of classic F1 as those cars plunging over the crest into Paddock Hill bend or charging off onto the Grand Prix loop. So if Zandvoort can have some of that back, it feels unfair if Brands Hatch can’t.

So I’ve convinced myself that the combined mass public appeal of Lewis Hamilton breaking F1’s remaining records, George Russell’s rise and Lando Norris’s Twitch following getting into real-world motorsport will make it viable for the UK to host two GPs per season again (and to accept a bit of traffic chaos in Kent) and a way will be found for Brands to return with only a ‘Zandvoort 2020’ level of renovation.


formula 1 gp which we'd love to see back on  calendar WATKINS GLEN, UNITED STATE

Watkins Glen still offers a range of single-seater and sportscar events, but that run of 20 grands prix from 1961 to 1980 was a thing of beauty. It went through a major redesign for 1971, increasing its length to 5.4 km from 3.7 km.

A combination of fan behaviour, unpaid debts and increasing concerns over its ability to safely host the new, increasingly faster ground-effect cars contributed to its removal from the calendar.

But to see a modern grand prix swoop into the Loop, run down the Chute and into the Anvil? That’s a sight we’d love to see.

And we sort of have. OK, so it’s hardly a classic (and it’s not even a race reference), but when Lewis Hamilton and Tony Stewart had the chance to swap each other’s cars in 2011, seeing the McLaren dance in damp conditions around the Glen makes for tremendous viewing.

With Austin and New Jersey potential mainstays on the current calendar, though, a race return will probably have to remain a pipe dream for now.

formula 1 gp which we'd love to see back on  calendar


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