Throughout the decades Formula 1 has always been a popular sport, but in recent years, thanks to the success of TV shows like Netflix’s hugely popular Formula 1: Drive to Survive, the sport has reached a brand new audience of fans around the globe.
Initially drawn to the enthralling narratives of individual racers and teams, fans are then sticking around to enjoy the high-speed, high drama of elite level racing.
Whilst binge watching Drive to Survive and tuning in to the live action on TV every Sunday is great, it’s nothing compared to watching the spectacle unfurl in front of you on the track.
If you’ve caught the F1 bug and want to experience a race in person, read on to find out which 5 Formula 1 Circuits should be on your travel wish list.
Circuit de Monaco
Where? Monaco, Europe
When? Sunday 28th May
Joining the Formula 1 calendar in 1950, the Circuit de Monaco is one of the oldest and most prestigious race tracks not just in F1 but in motorsports in general. Along with the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, this racetrack forms the Triple Crown of Motorsport.
It is famous for its narrow, winding course that takes racers through the streets of Monaco. Due to the nature of the course, the race is usually driven at a lower average speed than other courses, but despite that there are still a number of serious crashes every year.
That’s because of the tight and difficult nature of the course, which is why Monaco has traditionally been seen as a test of a driver’s mettle.
Beyond racing, Monaco is a great place to visit anyway, with a number of attractions including the famous Casino de Monaco where you could well find some F1 stars playing high-stakes poker in the days leading up to the race.
(Monaco is a track synonymous with drama.)
Where? Silverstone, England
When? Sunday 9th July
The British Grand Prix, held at Silverstone in 1950 was the first race of the F1 calendar and as such, this track is the oldest on the current circuit. Originally the track was designed for pure and unadulterated speed, but following the Imola tragedies the track was redesigned with driver’s safety in mind.
The most famous section of the track, the Maggots-Becketts complex, features a number of high-speed corners in quick succession that keep drivers on their toes and separate the wheat from the chaff.
Carlos Sainz was the last winner at Silverstone, but British driver Lewis Hamilton holds the record for the fastest lap on the track, clocking an incredible 1:30.510.
Circuit Of The Americas
Where? Austin, Texas USA
When? Sunday 22nd October
In 2007, the last Grand Prix in the United States was held in Indianapolis. That was until 2012 when the Grand Prix returned to the country at the newly built Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Designed by Hermann Tilke and American architects HKS, the track takes inspiration from Silverstone’s Maggots-Becketts complex, Suzuka’s S Curves and Hockenheim’s stadium section. The track’s unique uphill run into a super wide Turn 1 has also provided some great overtaking action throughout the years.
Away from the track you can enjoy the food, drink and nightlife of Austin, a city that lives by the slogan ‘Keep Austin Weird’.
(Take a look at the Austin’s incredible Circuit of the Americas track.)
Where? Suzuka City Japan
When? Sunday 24th September
In 1962 the owner of Japanese car manufacturer Honda decided that his cars should have their own testing track. Enlisting the help of Dutchman John Hugenholtz to help him create his vision, Soichiro Honda commissioned the Suzuka International race track.
It made its first appearance in F1 back in 1987 and has been a fan favourite ever since, with its notorious S Curves and high speed straights proving to be the ultimate test of a drivers skill and a cars robustness.
Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Where? Monza, Italy
When? Sunday 3rd September
Some might say we’ve left the best to last and it would be hard to argue with them as Monza is one of the most iconic racetracks on the planet. Constructed in just 110 days in 1922, this track was just the third purpose built circuit in the world and unsurprisingly for the time, contained a number of death defying banked curves.
Monza was part of the F1 calendar back in 1950 and has only been absent from the tour once, in 1980. It is a track renowned for its speed as 80% of the circuit allows drivers to open up and hit full throttle.
The record speed clocked at Monza was 260.6kmph/161.9mph back in 2004 by Colombian driver Juan Pablo Montoya.
(Juan Pablo Montoya’s record breaking lap from 2004.)