The United States has a long and rich history in F1, having first appeared on the calendar way back in 1959 and even played host to several races in the same season.
There have been a few weird and wacky venues of past F1 races in the USA, but there have also been quite a few brilliant ones too – which have been the scene of some epic moments.
So, with the US celebrating 4th of July, we thought we’d show some love to its best F1 tracks. Let us know if you agree in the comments!
COTA is the current home of the US GP. Not only does it have an absolutely epic Twitter account, but the track layout itself is also pretty cool. Located near Austin in Texas, the 20-turn layout has a mix of everything, really. There are some fast, flowing sections, long straights and heavy braking zones. Plus, undulations (that uphill run to Turn 1) and quirky features give COTA some character, which is surprising for a track that only debuted fresh from construction in 2012.
The Watkins Glen circuit is a really special one. It was the US GP’s permanent venue from 1961 to 1980 and while it went through some layout changes during that time, each variation was still super-quick, flowing, challenging and packed full of personality. It’s no wonder the track has become such an icon in US motorsport history. Greats such as Graham Hill, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda all tackled Watkins Glen and won.
When you think of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, you think of the huge oval course that hosts the Indy 500. Not the infield layout used by F1 during its visits there from 2000 to 2007. Sure, the twisty bit in the middle wasn’t the most inspiring, but it had some nice features and a good flow to it. What made it cool and much more fun was the fact it incorporated some of the banked oval turns.
Just no one talk about 2005.
To modern racing fans, Long Beach is better known for its IndyCar race. While the layout IndyCar uses is pretty different to the one F1 raced on (and even that changed throughout F1’s run from 1976 to 1983), there are still some similarities. In the beasts F1 drivers raced in back in those days, a twisty street track with some high-speed sections must’ve been a lot of fun but also a huge challenge.
The Sebring layout used by F1 in 1959 was much simpler compared to the track that’s currently raced on, largely hosting sportscar events. It was the first US GP venue in 1959 and included some long straights, quick sections and big braking zones, which made for a very entertaining race.
Bruce McLaren won it, but all eyes were on Jack Brabham, who ran out of fuel on the last lap but pushed his car across the line to finish fourth and take the first of his three world championships. Since then, Sebring has become one of the best-loved US circuits in motorsport. Not that we’re surprised, though.