Friday, 24 April 2009

They can haz F1 race here?

As good as the current F1 calendar is, there are fans who will say "This circuit should be on there" or "They should hold an F1 race here". I'm just the same, if I'm honest. There are circuits which I would love to see Lewis, Jenson, Webber, Sutil and co thundering around. So, I think to myself "What circuits would I truly love to see F1 cars race on?" Well, I'll share them with you:

1. Road America
If the US Grand Prix were to ever make a comeback, this is the circuit I would champion to host it all the way to the final announcement. Set in the pristene surroundings of Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, this is one of a select few circuits left in the world which have remained unchanged since they first opened. Home to many IndyCar/ Champ Car races, America's favourite single-seater series is the closest there's ever been to an F1 race there. Speaking from experience of racing it virtually, it is a glorious track. I adore the way the course winds and undulates through the trees and the elevation changes really make it feel so natural, unlike all the modern Tilkedromes we get these days. There's plenty of nostalgia there and in some ways you get a real sense of that when you drive around it. It's long sweeping corners tied to winding high-speed sections, and it is one of the most fantastic courses in the world. I love it. Please, Bernie, regardless of the size of the town, please bring F1 back to America here!

2. Macau
OK, I know this is a favourite with many people who follow the Macau Grand Prix. The city, nestled in the hills of Hong Kong, is another superb example of a circuit which needs to have F1 cars screaming through its streets. As Martin Brundle once described it, it's "Monaco with Silverstone tapped on the end of it for good measure". He's not wrong there. It really is a track of two halves. There's the high speed section which speeds past the Mandarin Hotel and down towards Lisboa, where it changes into this endless snake of complex turns. It's almost like you're constantly bombarded with 90 degree corners for some 2 or 3 minutes. But that's what makes it so awesome. It really is like Monaco - one momentary lapse of concentration and you're in the barriers. The most famous corner here is definately the Melco hairpin, a corner so tight that a permanent yellow flag is waved there because passing there is simply impossible. Regardless, it's such a jewel of a circuit.

3. San Luis
This is a relatively new circuit - it was only opened late last year - but my god it's epic. How can I describe it? Well, think of a mountain situated next to a beautiful lake with a racetrack draped around them and that sums it up adequately. Located in Argentina, it hosted it's first race, the final round of the FIA GT championship near the end of 2008. It was a huge hit, although I'm mystified as to why it was dropped from this season's calendar. I think it was money issues, but I'm not entirely sure. A real shame since this circuit reminds me of El Capitan from Gran Turismo 4. It really is a beautiful location and an amazing layout. Should F1 ever consider an Argentine GP once more, I'd like to think something can be arranged.

So there's 3 to start with. Right now I can't think of any others which really stand out for me. But if I could see an F1 car run around either of these places, I'd be happy. I'm sure everyone has different opinions and choices on where they'd like to see the F1 circus stop at. Then again, Bernie's always looking at new countries to visit so maybe it's not likely to happen any time soon. Ah well, a man can dream...


R.G said...

Hmm, some decent suggestions. I feel Macau might be too tight to host a F1 race.

Personally, I wouldn't mind Brands Hatch and of course Montreal. Unless of course some billionaire buys Croft and upgrades it to Grade 1 standard and can host an F1 race :)

Johnny Lunchbox said...

I would definitely choose Autopolis. The course was actually built for the purpose of hosting F1 races, but Bernie and co decided that the track was too remote to be an adequate location. I somewhat agree with him, but that's besides the point.

Autopolis is located on the island of Kyushu in Western Japan, overlooking Mt. Aso (home of the world's largest volcano caldera). Getting there is a real bear cat is it's mainly these tiny little back roads one way, and steep inclines the other. But the track is really something else. I especially love the end of the course: you follow a downhill curve that you really have to hit perfectly to maintain your speed back up the hill, which leads to the Final Turn. Final Turn then funnels into a chicane that spits you out on the straight. Awesome track with lots of action!