What are the best F1 tracks for racing?

Interlagos F1 Circuit - Best F1 tracks
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Formula 1 travels around the world across a variety of circuits, but what are the best F1 tracks for providing entertaining races?

What makes a great track? How many high-speed corners vs. low-speed corners do you need? How much do long high-speed straights and DRS (drag reduction system) zones factor in? Tire degradation or a variety of pit stop strategies at play? Perhaps the biggest factor in producing entertaining races is the number of overtaking ones and ease of passing. Considering all that, plus everything else, what are the best F1 tracks for racing?

5 – Spa-Francorchamps

The 4.3-mile circuit is the longest on the current F1 calendar. It’s become a fan and drive favorite, although it’s proven challenging and tragic. Featuring long straights and a combination of fast and slow corners, the track offers several overtaking opportunities. The Eau Rouge onto the Kemmel Straight is one of the fastest parts of the F1 year and can provide for dramatic racing. The unpredictable weather has best been seen when drivers are met with full wet conditions at one end and a dry track at the other.

4 – Circuit Of The Americas (COTA)

As F1 continues to rise in popularity in America, one piece of that growth has been COTA. The designers had a blank canvas to build the circuit outside Austin and drew inspiration from a variety of Formula 1 classics. COTA features dramatic elevation changes, fast straights, tight corners, and a series of winding curves (the S). Turn 1 has become instantly recognizable with its steep rise, sharp left bank, and back down the hill providing one of the best opening sequences in F1. And depending on where it falls on the schedule COTA has delivered freezing cold temperatures or searing track conditions.

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3 – Bahrain International Circuit

The 3.3-mile track was the first F1 event in the Middle East and has become the season opener under the lights. It’s one of the fastest tracks on the calendar, but with ample run-off areas, drivers are able to push to the limits without extreme danger. In order to keep sand off the track, a special sticky adhesive substance is applied to the surface, but that results in extra grip for the tires. With three DRS zones, there are great overtaking chances heading into turn 1 as well as the final turn 14/15 combo heading back to the finish line.

2 – Silverstone

While it probably makes the list before the 2022 season, this year’s British Grand Prix showcased the best of the new F1 regulations. Cars are able to follow closely, run side-by-side and take advantage of the seemingly endless chances to set up overtaking moves. Silverstone is steeped in F1 history and is the home track for a majority of teams. With iconic turns and straight names, high-speed corners, and the ever-changing weather, the British Grand Prix is a fan and driver favorite. While DRS is used to full effect at Silverstone it’s an F1 track where you can even pass without the adding speed boost.

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1 – Interlagos (Autódromo José Carlos Pace)

Until recent times, Brazil hosted the F1 conclusion and featured multiple title-deciding Grand Prix spectacles. It features sweeping corners, constant elevation changes, unpredictable weather, and several overtaking zones. That includes the long ‘straight’ leads into the Senna esses which can create long wheel-to-wheel battles. Look no further than the 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix. Between the Sprint race on Saturday and the GP on Sunday, Lewis Hamilton overtook the entire field after starting in last place. And who doesn’t love a final turn which is ideal for overtaking coming to the checkered flag? Hamilton used it to perfection constantly setting up the cars ahead and breezing by on the front straight.

Truthfully, there are so many great F1 circuits on the calendar or recently have been. We definitely considered Red Bull Ring, Monza, and a 2022-returnee Suzuka. Additionally, the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai can offer up a great event and hopefully returns to the Formula 1 schedule in the coming years.