5 Best F1 tracks of all time

F1 Grand Prix of China
F1 Grand Prix of China
Charanjot Singh

There have always been questions raised about the quality of racing in Formula One and coincidentally some tracks are blamed for not being conducive enough for overtaking. Many a time, modern-day F1 tracks have faced criticism for being too forgiving and killing the challenge of the sport while others are praised for bringing the best out of drivers.

With all this in mind, I decided to jot down what I feel are currently the best F1 tracks in the world right now with various factors taken into consideration such as the quality of racing they offer, the opportunities they provide for overtaking and of course, an added factor of the racing heritage associated with these tracks.

For relatability purposes, only the tracks that are currently part of the F1 calendar are taken into consideration. So let's cut to the chase and jump straight to the list.

#5 Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain

One of the modern F1 tracks that have it all when it comes to action, overtaking, character and of course, the night race is just beautiful
One of the modern F1 tracks that have it all when it comes to action, overtaking, character and of course, the night race is just beautiful

At No.5 we have the Bahrain International Circuit at Sakhir in Bahrain. The track that was first raced at in 2004 and despite the protests that have always been omnipresent in and around the Grand Prix, the race itself has been more or less pretty good. Probably the biggest modification that has really livened up the circuit and made it a fan favourite has been the transformation of the race from a day race to a night one which makes it one of the best spectacles of the years.

Sure Singapore also hosts a niight race but the amount of action and the completeness in terms of track characteristics that Bahrain offers, Singapore doesn't. It is one of the top 5 tracks with the most overtaking per race because of its track characteristics and provides wide open spaces for the big bulky cars of this era to pass and just like what happened this year, more often than not Bahrain does provide great action from start to finish.

#4 Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Sau Paulo, Brazil

The circuit at Sau Paulo has taken centre stage for many title deciders
The circuit at Sau Paulo has taken centre stage for many title deciders

At no.4 is Autódromo José Carlos Pace at Sau Paulo, Brazil. When you talk about tracks with history, heritage and prestige then Brazil always ranks high up amongst them. The track at Sau Paulo was made famous and came into prominence when Ayrton Senna was around and it used to be his home race and ever since, the track has been a common fixture on the calendar.

With it being one of the few tracks that are situated at a very high altitude means that the engine performance can sometimes not be as big a variable as it usually is. The track has such history attached to it that it is always close to everyone's heart when it comes to racing here.

Iconic moments like Schumacher's last race with Ferrari in 2006 or Felipe Massa losing the title on the very last corner of the last lap of the season in 2008 or Fernando Alonso's shocked expression at losing out in the championship battle to Sebastian Vettel in 2012 really make this race a spectacle and one of the must-visit Grand Prix on the calendar.

#3 Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone

Silverstone has been one of the iconic circuits on the F1 calendar
Silverstone has been one of the iconic circuits on the F1 calendar

The place where the first ever "Grand Prix" was held, Silverstone features some of the most passionate fans in the world. Formula 1 is in the blood of that region with most teams setting up their base near the track. The place has history, following, prestige and probably one of the best tracks in the world when it comes to driving with some of the most iconic sections like Maggots, Becketts and Copse providing the circuit with one of the most breathtaking identity.

Add to this the unpredictable British weather where it rains one minute and is dry the next leads to some really unpredictable conditions for the drivers to tackle. The whole environment around the circuit along with the action on the circuit certainly makes it a treat for both the viewers on the circuit and off it as well.

Also Read: 5 anti-clockwise circuits in F1

#2 Suzuka, Japan

The iconic
The iconic "130R" at Suzuka

Talk about the culture. talk about the heritage, talk about passion, and what you do is you talk about Suzuka. You go and talk to the drivers up and down the grid and quiz them about their top 5 tracks and more often than not Suzula fits the bill and is one of the favourite tracks for any driver. The first sector with the Esses, the second with the Degners and the spoon curve and of course the 130R is a pleasure to drive.

It's a breathtaking view as well with the Japanese being one of the most passionate and respectful fans around the world (case in point, Japan was one of the few countries where Sebastian Vettel was not booed in 2013 when he went on a rampage, consistently winning race after race). Why it's not the best track in the world? It's got more to do with the characteristics of the circuit which doesn't really allow too many overtakes and maybe that's why it's just a notch below the best track on the F1 calendar.

#1 Spa-Francorchamps

The best overtake ever in Formula One
The best overtake ever in Formula One

The word "Spa" has a different meaning for different people and for F1 fans SPA is pretty much the place to be when it comes to F1. Set in Belgium, the track is one of the best (if not the best) tracks in the world. You look at the list of people who have been successful here and you see a list of F1 champions. Senna, Prost, Schumacher, Raikkonen, Vettel, Hamilton, all of them have tasted success here and you can ask anyone on the grid and Spa would be the place where they'd like to go to see an F1 race.

You talk about the track you talk about challenging elevation changes, Eau Rouge, Blanchimont, Pouhon and what not and then in the same breath you talk about the battles of the past, you talk about the greatest overtake ever in F1 by Mika Hakkinen over Michael Schumacher. That is what Spa brings to the table, the best of racing in the best of cars, set in a scenic place surrounded by trees all around. It surely is the best track on the F1 calendar.

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Edited by Kingshuk Kusari


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