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11 US tracks that have hosted F1 races
The 2023 Formula One World Championships is slated to have three races held in the United States, including returns to Miami and Austin.
En route to winning his second-consecutive Formula One World Championship in 2022, Oracle Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen won both races hosted in the United States: the Miami Grand Prix in May, and the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, in October.
As Verstappen finally crossed the finish line to clinch P1 in the cagey Miami race, he told his team over the headset, “That was nice. Tough one but really good.”
Formula One hasn’t always been a mainstay in American circuits. Since 2000, only four United States circuits have hosted F1 races, and there was a span from 2008-2011 when no races were held in the United States.
This article will look at the 11 tracks that hosted Formula One races across the United States. This list includes how many races were run at each location and who won those races. Buckle up, race fans!
Miami International Autodrome in Miami, Florida
- Years hosted: 2022-Present
- Most wins: Max Verstappen
Stephen Ross, the owner of both the Hard Rock Stadium and its tenant Miami Dolphins, had been trying to attract Formula One to Miami for years. After initially planning the race to be held in Downtown Miami, the race was moved north to the Miami International Autodrome, a track built around the Hard Rock Stadium. Max Verstappen won the inaugural Miami Grand Prix in front of about 85,000 people, including stars like Serena Williams, Michael Jordan, and David Beckham. Drivers spoke glowingly of the support from U.S. fans and the track design. The circuit is temporary, meaning that once the race is done, all of the infrastructure, like fencing and tire barriers, are removed. Miami Grand Prix 2023 will be returning to Miami on May 4-6, 2023.
Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas
- Years hosted: 2012-2019, 2021-Present
- Most wins: Lewis Hamilton (5; 2012, 2014-2017)
1When Formula One left the United States in 2007, then-president Bernie Ecclestone said the series would never return to Indianapolis, leaving doubt about whether F1 would ever return to American circuits. However, following a four-year hiatus, F1 returned for the 2012 Season, coming to Austin, Texas, at the Circuit of the Americas or COTA. The track was purposely built with F1 racing in mind, and drivers have taken to it nicely. Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo called the circuit “the best of the new breed of circuits.” F1 will be returning to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin on October 19-21, 2023.
Caesars Palace Grand Prix Circuit in Las Vegas, Nevada
- Years hosted: 1981-1982, 2023
- Most wins: Alan Jones (1981) & Michele Alboreto (1982)
Some gambles don’t pay off, and what better place to learn that than Las Vegas! The track is located in the parking lot of the Caesars Palace hotel. The Caesars Palace Grand Prix debuted in 1981 after the sudden removal of Watkins Glen from the calendar due to bankruptcy. However, most of the allure that comes with Las Vegas was missing from the race. The track was relatively flat and uninspiring, and the hosts felt that lack of motivation. The 1981 event was a financial loss for the Caesars Palace hotel with low crowd numbers, and F1 left Vegas after two years. After over 40 years, F1 will return to Sin City on November 16-18, 2023, as the Las Vegas Grand Prix will look to capture more of the city’s magic, with the custom-built track including a sizable chunk of the Las Vegas Strip.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana
- Years hosted: 1950-60, 2000-2007
- Most wins: Michael Schumaker (5; 2000, 2003-2006)
From 1950-1960, the Indy 500 was a part of the Formula One World Championships. However, the race rarely drew any European drivers, so primarily Americans participated in the event. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway didn’t return to the F1 ranks until 2000, when the United States Grand Prix returned and was hosted at the circuit. After the 2007 United States Grand Prix, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and F1 Announced that there would be no more Grand Prix at the racetrack for the foreseeable future as the two parties could not agree on terms that pleased both sides.
Phoenix Street Circuit in Phoenix, Arizona
- Years hosted: 1989-1991
- Most wins: Ayrton Senna (2; 1990 & 1991)
After the downfall of Watkins Glen, Formula One tried several locations to find a long-term home in American circuits. The circuit’s final attempt of the twentieth century was in Phoenix. Reviving the United States Grand Prix title for the race in Phoenix, it fell apart rather quickly. The race didn’t draw that big of a crowd, and the city had no winding bends or turns that would bring out the traditional F1 flair. The exit of F1 was somewhat controversial as race officials expected the race to be run in 1992. However, the race was canceled in October 1991 after three years and was replaced on the schedule by the South African Grand Prix.
Detroit Street Circuit in Detroit, Michigan
- Years hosted: 1982-1988
- Most wins: Ayrton Senna (3; 1986-1988)
In 1982, the United States became the first country to host three World Championship Grand Prix’s in one campaign when Detroit was added to a rotation of Las Vegas and Long Beach. However, the Detroit Grand Prix may have been the worst of the three. The track had several difficult turns and was very tight in some areas, causing several drivers to retire due to mechanical failure or colliding with the walls. The track also suffered due to the humidity and heat of the race. Only six drivers finished the 1984 Detroit Grand Prix out of a starting field of 26. After disagreements between F1’s governing body and the City of Detroit about the building of facilities, the last Detroit Grand Prix was held in 1988, with F1 deeming the circuit of being more trouble than it was worth.
Dallas Fair Park in Dallas, Texas
- Years hosted: 1984
- Most wins: Keke Rosberg
Formula One’s lone race hosted in Dallas didn’t give the series the greatest first impression of the Lone Star state. With the race happening in the middle of summer, the heat quickly became unbearable for both drivers and the track. With the track temperature surpassing 150 degrees Fahrenheit, the track began to disintegrate, with gravel being strewn across the circuit and causing cars to slip and lose positioning. Only seven racers of the starting 26 finished the race. F1 has never returned.
Long Beach Street Circuit in Long Beach, California
- Years hosted: 1976-1983
- Most wins: Clay Regazzoni (1976), Mario Andretti (1977), Carlos Reutermann (1978), Gilles Villeneuve (1979), Nelson Piquet (1980), Alan Jones (1981), Niki Lauda (1982), John Watson (1983)
Formula One wanted an American circuit that was relatively drama-free yet still lucrative. In comes the Long Beach Street Circuit and the United States Grand Prix West was born. The race had a rather successful run from 1976-1983 and was widely popular among both fans and drivers, but race organizers deemed the IndyCar Series to be a better investment and made the switch for the 1984 IndyCar Series campaign.
Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York
- Years hosted: 1961-1980
- Most wins: Jim Clark (3; 1962, 1966, 1967) & Graham Hill (3; 1963-1965)
Easily the most successful installment of the United States Grand Prix came at Watkins Glen in upstate New York, that was up until the 2022 USGP at COTA which set record-breaking attendance. The race was an immediate success, with over 60,000 fans showing up to the first United States Grand Prix held there in 1961. With the race happening so late in the season and championships already tied up, race promoters offered large sums of money for racers to participate, making it just as popular for drivers as it was for the fans. A redesign of the track in 1971 made it a much more challenging race, thus making the circuit even more appealing to fans and drivers. However, Watkins Glen’s good fortunes began to sour shortly thereafter. Following fatal crashes at the 1974 and 1975 race weekends, the circuit began to lose its allure, with drivers and media concerned about the track’s deteriorating condition and the rowdy fans who often committed destructive acts during race weekends. By the time Watkins Glen made a push to make improvements to the circuit, it was too little too late. The 1981 United States Grand Prix was canceled, and F1 never returned to Watkins Glen.
Riverside International Raceway in Moreno Valley, California
- Years hosted: 1960
- Most wins: Stirling Moss
Trying to generate publicity for the new “United States Grand Prix,” race organizer Alec Ulmann held the second installment of the race at Riverside in sunny Southern California. However, the event was unable to drum up the publicity required to make it profitable. Race organizers even had to pay the drivers out of their own pockets to ensure the event didn’t become a total embarrassment.
Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida
- Years hosted: 1959
- Most wins: Bruce McLaren
Sebring International Raceway is the location for several popular and prestigious events in the world of racing. However, its lone stint as the host location for the United States Grand Prix was less than glamorous, primarily due to its location. Sebring, which had a population of less than 7,000 according to the 1960 U.S. Census, is over an hour away from any major city in Florida. The debuting 1959 United States Grand Prix drew less than 8,000 spectators, but the race itself wasn’t bad, as Bruce McLaren won by less than a second to become the youngest driver (at the time) to ever win a F1 race at 22 years, 104 days. This record would stand for more than 40 years.
The United States and Formula One have had a relationship over the past 54 years. The 2023 Formula One World Championships is slated to have three races held in the United States, including returns to Miami and Austin, where Sergio Pérez finished fourth in both races last year. This will make the United States the first country ever to host three Formula One races in more than one World Championship campaign.