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Formula 1 circuits
Since the start of the Formula 1 World Championship in 1950, 71 race tracks have hosted a Grand Prix race. Silverstone, the venue for the first Formula 1 GP, has featured on the F1 schedule almost ever since, but many former F1 tracks have disappeared from the Grand Prix calendar. With the globalization of Formula One racing, new countries have joined, and Asia and Eastern Europe now usualy have their own F1 fixtures.
A revamped 2020 Formula 1 season starts with an Austrian GP double-header in July and is currently set to end in Italy in November. F1 has updated a 13-race European calendar, although owners Liberty are hoping to eventually stage other events in Vietnam and the Middle East this year. Here you’ll find the F1 timetable and some interesting facts and figures about each GP circuit so far confirmed.
F1 race calendar 2020
Grand Prix dates and circuits
July 5 – Austria (Spielberg)
July 12 – Austria (Spielberg)
July 19 – Hungary (Budapest)
August 2 – Great Britain (Silverstone)
August 9 – Great Britain (Silverstone)
August 16 – Spain (Barcelona)
August 30 – Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)
September 6 – Italy (Monza)
September 13 – Tuscany (Mugello)
September 27 – Russia (Sochi)
October 11 – Germany (Nurburgring)
October 25 – Portugal (Portimao)
November 1 – Italy (Imola)
Red Bull Ring
Venue for the Austrian Grand Prix, July 5 & 12
This circuit, formerly known as A1-Ring, is 4.326 kilometres long with a total of only eight turns: six right and two left. It’s located near the city of Spielberg in a beautiful hilly landscape and has hosted races since 1969.
What makes the Austrian Grand Prix special?
It’s a very fast circuit, with few and relatively quick corners and long straight stretches. Drivers go full throttle on more than 70% of the lap and the most powerful cars are clearly favoured. Due to the curvy downhill parts, Red Bull Ring can be tricky under wet conditions.
Venue for the Hungarian Grand Prix, July 19
The 1986 Hungarian Grand Prix, won by Nelson Piquet, was the first Formula One Grand Prix to take place behind the Iron Curtain. Since then the Hungarian GP has been on the schedule every year. Hungaroring is 4,381 km long and notably twisty and bumpy.
What makes the Hungarian Grand Prix special?
The many corners, few straight sections, the heat and the dust conspire to make racing on this track a tough challenge for both drivers and cars. Overtaking is extremely difficult on Hungaroring, and a good start position is often decisive for success.
Venue for the British Grand Prix, August 2 & 9
A former Second World War Royal Air Force airfield, Silverstone Circuit is 5.89 kilometres long and features 18 corners: 10 right-handers and eight left-handers. The fast curves are very demanding on the drivers, due to the extremely high compression forces.
What makes the British Grand Prix special?
Apart from being a beautiful and fast track, Silverstone is a stronghold of tradition, where many legends were born. The very first world Championship GP was held here in 1950. Among the 21 drivers that took the start was Prince Birabongse Bhanudej Bhanubandh of the Thai royal family, who qualified fifth in his Maserati but ran out of fuel during the race.
Circuit de Catalunya
Venue for the Spanish Grand Prix, August 16
Circuit de Catalunya is situated 32 kilometres from Barcelona. The track is 4.65 kilometres long, with 16 corners: nine right turns and seven left turns. Top-end speed is decisive on this fast circuit with its long straights. The track is often used for test driving during the winter months, so the teams know the course inside out.
What makes the Spanish Grand Prix special?
Aerodynamics are one of the main success factors on the Spanish GP track. Close to the sea, it is subject to unpredictable weather conditions, especially strong winds that can destabilise the car’s aerodynamic balance.
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Venue for the Belgian Grand Prix, August 30
This hill circuit in The Ardennes is 7 kilometres long, with 19 fast and medium fast corners: nine right turns and 10 left turns. It is the longest track on the F1 calendar and generally considered one of the most challenging, combining F1’s longest straight with difficult curves.
What makes the Belgian Grand Prix special?
Not surprisingly for anyone who knows the Belgian Ardennes, it’s the weather. This is always unpredictable and more often than not rainy. At one time in the long GP tradition of the circuit, it rained for 20 years in a row. The rain often falls in short showers that occur in parts of the circuit, leaving other parts dry. Tyre changes during the race are very common here, and a crucial factor for success.
Autodromo di Monza
Venue for the Italian Grand Prix, September 6
This 5,79 kilometres long track close to Milano was constructed in 1922, one of the first purpose-built racing tracks in the world. The history of the circuit is closely linked to that other great Italian name in F1: Ferrari. Monza is one of the fastest circuits on the F1 schedule, 75% of the lap drivers go full throttle.
What makes the Italian Grand Prix special?
Apart from the atmosphere, with tens of thousands knowledgeable and enthusiastic ‘tifosi’, Monza is guaranteed to offer spectacular racing. The combination of long straight stretches and narrow chicanes is a challenge to both drivers and cars. At the end of the race, brakes and bodies are completely worn out.
Venue for the Tuscan Grand Prix, September 13
The circuit is 5.245 km in length, has 15 turns and a longest straight of 1.141 km. The track is owned by Ferrari, who use it for testing, while MotoGP events are staged here on an annual basis, with legendary Italian rider Giacomo Agostini a 13-time winner. Sebastian Vettel is a fan, stating: “It’s unfortunate we don’t have this track on the calendar as a rule. It’s an incredible circuit with a lot of high-speed corners.”
What makes the Tuscan Grand Prix special?
Ferrari will celebrate its 1,000th grand prix at their home track in Mugello, situated 35km from Florence and a 75-mile drive away from their Maranello headquarters. Team principal Mattia Binotto said: “To be able to celebrate an extraordinary anniversary like the 1,000th grand prix for Scuderia Ferrari at our own home at Mugello is an incredible opportunity. Mugello is not just one of the most spectacular and challenging tracks for drivers and cars, it is also a structure that has made sustainability one of its priorities.”
Venue for the Russian Grand Prix, September 27
Sochi Autodrome is located in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi. The track is part of a complex used for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games and consists of two circuits. The large circuit, including 1.7 kilometres of public roads, is used only for F1 races. It is 5.85 kilometres long and features 19 corners: 12 right turns and seven left turns.
What makes the Russian Grand Prix special?
The circuit’s combination of long straights and high-speed corners makes it one of the fastest Formula One tracks. It is also one of the longest, after Spa-Francorchamps and Silverstone. When the first Formula 1 race was held here in 2014, it marked the end of a 30-year campaign for a Russian Grand Prix.
Venue for the Eifel Grand Prix, October 11
Jackie Stewart nicknamed the old track ‘The Green Hell’ and its 14-mile length made it not only dangerous but impossible for broadcasters to cover the race effectively. The new track was named GP-Strecke (Grand Prix Course) and built to meet the highest safety standards. In 2002, the former “Castrol-chicane” at the end of the start/finish straight was replaced with a sharp right-hander (“Haug-Hook”) in order to create an overtaking opportunity. A slow Omega-shaped section was also inserted to extend the track from 2.80 to 3.23 miles.
What makes the Eifel Grand Prix special?
The Nurburgring was constructed in 1925 and became the main venue for the German Grand Prix in 1951. Reigning world champion Niki Lauda – who had been concerned about the safety of the track – crashed and suffered serious burns there in 1976 and Nurburgring underwent significant safety improvements. Being back in the Formula One spotlight after a seven-year absence could provide the Nurburgring with a new lease of life.
Venue for the Portuguese Grand Prix, October 25
Portimao resembles the old Nurburgring and the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium due to its constantly undulating nature. The different layout combinations allow for faster, challenging versions or slower, more technical ones. The track can encourage overtaking because of its width and should make for exciting racing.
What makes the Portuguese Grand Prix special?
The 100,000-capacity Algarve International Circuit was finished in October 2008 at a cost of 195 million euros. Portimao has held events ranging from the final round of the World Superbikes Championship to GP2 series events, but a Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix has not been held since 1996. It was only upgraded to an FIA Grade 1 licence required to host a Formula One race in April. But the coronavirus pandemic – with more races being held in Europe – has provided an unexpected opportunity.
Venue for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, November 1
The track – one of the few circuits to run in an anti-clockwise direction – has undergone major work since 2007 and its exile from Formula One. A bypass to the Variante Bassa chicane was added for cars, making the run from Rivazza 2 to the first Tamburello chicane totally flat-out. The old pit garages and paddock have been demolished and completely rebuilt while the pit lane was extended and resurfaced.
What makes the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix special?
San Marino venue Imola – which is named after Ferrari’s late founder, Enzo Ferrari, and his son Alfredo – was inaugurated in 1953 and is synonymous with the death of triple world champion Ayrton Senna in 1994. Senna was killed at the flat-out Tamburello corner, the day after Austrian Roland Ratzenberger crashed into a wall and was killed during Saturday qualifying. After Senna’s death, the Tamburello corner was reduced to a fourth gear left-right sweeper, and a gravel trap was added on the outside of the corner.
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