Debate: Bring back which track?

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The European Grand Prix is at the Nurburgring this weekend. Sadly not the classic, fearsome Nurburgring Nordschleife – surely top of any F1 fan’s list of tracks they’d like to see return to the F1 calendar.

It got me thinking at which old tracks should be put back on the calendar – ignoring the cost and difficulty of making them safe enough (which, for the Nordschleife, would be gigantic).

Here’s a few of my picks:

Long Beach – A stunning street circuit, especially in its original form with dauntingly steep changes in gradient.

Pescara – A flowing road course through the Italian countryside.

Clermont-Ferrand – A tortuously sinuous course that hosted the French Grand Prix.

Buenos Aires No. 15 – The longer version of the Buenos Aires circuit with two gigantic straights and a series of massively fast corners plus a tight infield.

Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez – In the heart of Mexico City, with a long straight, a slowing series of fast corners, and the terrifying 180-degree Peraltada.

So what track would you pick? There’s just one condition – it can’t be the Nurburgring. That’s a given.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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29 comments on “Debate: Bring back which track?”

  1. Hmmm. My top 5 would be Suzuka, Zandvoort, Brands Hatch, Estoril, old Kyalami. :)

    But hey, Suzuka might be back by next year! If it does, it will allow Donington Park to move into my Top 5.

  2. Robert McKay
    16th July 2007, 10:36

    Heck, I’d settle for getting the “old”, i.e. pre-2002, Hockenheim back with it’s massively long straights and then the twisty stadium section done with minimal downforce. Plenty of slipstreaming there! The new Tilke version is a bit Mickey Mouse.

  3. Ah they made a mess of Estoril though – they put that horrible chicane in below Parabolica and they tightened the first corner as well after F1 left.

  4. Nathan Jones
    16th July 2007, 11:44

    suzuka (prob back next yr and i hope so) zandvoort, brands hatch, old kyalami, the ostereichring, old hockenheim, long beach in it’s original form

  5. I would like to see:

    Österreichring (the old, fast version)
    Anderstorp (close to my home)
    Long Beach (great street circuit)
    Le Mans (Grand Prix-racings birthplace)
    Kyalami (F1 would be a true world championship)
    Suzuka (If Fuji Speedway is anyway near as boring as in Gran Turismo 4, F1 should leave as soon as possible!)

    Also, Spa in the form it takes in Frankenheimer’s Grand Prix-movie is absolutely fantastic, though the current track isn’t too bad either.)

  6. I agree with the others, old Hockenheim. Talking of oldie, how about old Silverstone? The current track is good (although, this years race wasnt great), but the old one was just mad!

  7. Now Spa is back it would have to be Suzuka for me.

  8. Old Hockenheim!!!!!!!! :(

  9. Now that we seem to have lost Indianapolis, my thoughts turn inevitable to Long Beach. It was a brilliant street circuit, always producing good races and as spectacular as they come. Fat chance, I suppose, as long as Bernie continues to demand such outrageous prices for a GP.

    Kyalami is a great idea. In fact, I agree with all of the suggestions but would add one teaser. How about investigating Pau as a GP venue? It’s tight and narrow, yes, but no worse than Monaco and what a fabulous backdrop it provides! Would solve the problem of a French GP too…

  10. Suzuka, really hope they they bring it back

  11. I don’t know if the long loop from the Buenos Aires track still exists. It was famous in its time for being built on reclaimed marshland which stank in the broiling heat.

    I don’t think you’d get the Beckhams visiting…

  12. Cool I’ll have to have a look for some footage of that. Glad they didn’t get rid of it when they created the shorter F1 track.

    Don’t worry I’m not in the least bit interested in where the Beckhams go!

    Did you ever see F1 racing at the track?

  13. I’d love to see Argentina return simply because I think it’s unfair that there aren’t more races in South America.

    Is the objective to bring in both Suzuka and Fuji? While everybody knows Suzuka is more challenging, Fuji… has some meaning to me. ;)

    To the one that suggested Pau, I raise you Macau. Perhaps it would be deadly in an F1 car, but isn’t that the charm?

    I had to look up the classic Long Beach run. A hybrid of the current path and the classic one may make it interesting, but F1 on the circuit ChampCar runs on would suck. My evidence of this was the ALMS race.

    Donnington Park looks like it has been modernized enough for F1. Brand’s Hatch (to me) does not, so I’d much rather see Donnington get F1, especially if there won’t be Silverstone, or perhaps that venue-switching arrangement that Germany has could work it in…

    How about a venue-switching arrangement for the USA?…

  14. I would love to see the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard again, provided they allowed fans to come in (please Bernie not just for VIPs!)

  15. To Mr Chunter: I’ll see your Macau, definitely! We could have both tracks and then there’d be three Monacos every year – that’d give the moaners about no overtaking something to get their teeth into. :D

    As regards Long Beach, it would have to be the classic course. Without all those dips and humps, it wouldn’t be the same. But better than venue-switching would be two or even three races in the States. How about the Glen in the East, the Beach in the West and let Bernie have one somewhere in the middle?

    And as for Ricard, yes, I agree, as long as it can be the old track with the mile-long straight…

  16. I was always curious about Lauda’s fascination and respect for the old Interlagos. I would like to see that circuit.
    And yes, I agree with the others about Hockenheim. This great track was destroyed-for no real reason at all-right in front of all of us!

  17. Zandvoort, Kyalama.

  18. Silverstone is, for me, unique because it is both the best ‘old’ track (before the early ’90s redesign) and the best current track. Worst track? Indianapolis (the F1 layout) by a country mile. I’m not at all sorry it’s gone, but the calendar desperately needs a USA GP. Either Long Beach or Watkins Glen – even both – would make for the perfect replacement. Please?

  19. I say the A1 ring and Jerez. Buenos Aires was amazing as well…

  20. old looping from buenos aires still exists, google earth is a good tool to see tracks and remains of previous track sections, but the key f1 tracks with sizeable remains from previous track layouts are as follows: interlagos, buenos aires, nurburgring, spa, avus, street circuits obviously, a-1 ring still has hella licht chicane and the straight up to the old 2nd curve existing, monza banking naturally and silverstone has a few parts all over the place too. mexico city hermanos has several sections that were cut intact also.

  21. I think since the satellite photography was taken for Google Earth (which is several years old in places – try to find the Shanghai International Circuit!) a power station has been built on the site of the old fast loop. I hope I’m wrong…

  22. Old SPA, Old Monza with old banking, Old österreichring, Old Mexico and Suzuka.

    Generally take away the chicanes.

  23. I would love to see the ‘old’ hockenheim back, but after seeing recent pics thats obviously aint gonna happen
    2 Estoril
    3 Argentina
    4 Aida (Ti Curcuit)
    5 Imola

  24. 1. Long Beach
    2. Long Beach
    3. Long Beach
    4. Long Beach
    5. …

  25. Donington Reveller
    31st July 2008, 20:10

    Ok im going to go a bit squiffy here, as im not going to mention a formula 1 track, but a formula 3000 track.


    Yes, the center of the Midlands had a formula 3000 STREET track, called Birmingham Super Prix, which also included the BTCC touring car championships and Porsche series amongst others.

    It still is the only street course to have been established on the British mainland, and is still (to my knowledge) the only place in the UK where street racing is legalised for 2 days a year as part of an event (although the event does not take effect nowdays), under the Birmingham Road Race Bill.

  26. 1. Osterreichring (Austria) – because has been fastest circuit at beautifull alps nature. (today dont exist – new circuit (aka A-1 Ring) in development for 2010).

    2. Reims-Gyeux (France) – also fast circuit with super grandstand and unique timing tower (today dont exist, except debris of same buildings, but france motor clubs some track parts restore).

    3. Monthlery (France) – super long circuit with unveliable tilting way (today in debris).

    4. Rouen les Essart (France) – beatifull nature circuit in woodland ((today dont exist completely).

    5. Old original Monza (Italy) with long tilting ways and 2 various tracks.

  27. 1. Old Monza, before the chicanes but after the parabolica was built – the on with only 5 changes of direction.
    2. Nurburgring Nordschleife
    3. Old Imola (pre Senna accident)
    4. Old Hockenheim
    5. Jarama
    6. Old Spa

  28. I’m from Portugal, and I share the general opinion that some circuits now are just plain crap and some of the old ones should be brought back.

    I made a calendar which I think it should be the most suitable for us, spectators, and for the drivers’ pleasure and safety (

    1- Australia – Albert Park
    2- Malaysia – Sepang
    3- Bahrain – Sakhir
    4- Spain – Valência street circuit (Barcelona sucks)
    5- Monaco
    6- Canada – Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
    7- USA – Either Phoenix 1989-1990 or Detroit 1984-1988
    8- Great Britain – Silverstone 1975-1986 or 1987-1990
    9- Germany – Hockenheimring before 2001
    10- Austria – Osterreichring 1970-1976 (Whar a circuit!)
    11- Belgium – Spa (not the old one, for length reasons)
    12- Italy- Monza
    13- Portugal – Either Estoril 1984-1994 or Algarve
    14- Turkey – Istambul
    15- UAE – Abu Dhabi
    16- Singapore
    17- China – Shanghai
    18- Japan – Suzuka (For me, best one in the world)
    19- Brazil – Jacarepagua (Interlagos is crap)

    I also accept the imola track instead of the US GP, but the Tamburello has to have a wide run-off area, in order to prevent more tragedies like the one that happened in 1994, when the greatest driver of all time died there.

    This calendar has a mix of old, legendary circuits and thw good new ones. but of course, these old ones would have to be made more safe, with only its layout left unchanged.


  29. Not just because I am Italian but Imola with tamburello,
    Monza with the banking and hockenheim is a must as it was in the 70’s.

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