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Formula 1 is one of the most popular sports worldwide, not just for motorsports. The world tour spans from Bahrain to Brazil and everywhere in between. The United States has held a grand prix for most of the last 60 years, but 2023 will see three races on the Formula 1 Calendar. Where will the stars like Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen clash in 2023? Where have they gone before? This guide will outline where you can see Formula 1 in the US.
Are US Races on the Formula 1 Calendar?
In 2023, the United States will be the only country to host three separate Formula 1 races. Considering the races in Montreal and Mexico City, there will be five races in North America next season. The racing league is banking on increased engagement on the continent, and the numbers show it. The 2022 season concluded with 12 races setting viewership records for the sport, increasing by 28% compared to the 2021 season. Next year, you’ll see F1 in:
- Miami: The first American stop on the Formula 1 calendar will be in Miami on May 7, 2023. The league came to Miami in 2022 and has confirmed plans to return after a successful debut. In the inaugural race, polesitter Charles Leclerc came up short against Verstappen, the eventual champion. Will Ferrari return to the podium with Leclerc, or will Verstappen repeat?
- Austin: The Formula 1 calendar will return to Austin, Texas, in late October 2023. The Circuit of the Americas (COTA) turned 10 years old in October 2022. It’s quickly turned into one of the greatest spectacles in North American motorsports with its high speeds and tight corners. Formula 1 came to COTA in 2012 and has returned yearly except during the pandemic.
- Las Vegas: The newest American addition to the Formula 1 calendar is the Las Vegas Grand Prix. Anticipation for the race will be high because it’ll be the penultimate event on November 18, a Saturday night race. The race will feature a street circuit on the famous Las Vegas strip. It’ll be the first time in 41 years that Formula 1 has held a race in Las Vegas. The track totals about 3.8 miles (6.1km) and will have 50 laps.
Where Did Formula 1 Used to Race?
The United States getting three races in one season sounds like a lot, but it’s not unprecedented. In fact, the country held three events on the Formula 1 calendar back in 1982. That year, the league came to Long Beach, California, Detroit and Las Vegas. With three races in 2023, let’s explore some of the tracks that used to be on the schedule.
Watkins Glen International
The Glen is one of the most famous circuits in the United States. Racing leagues like NASCAR, IndyCar, IMSA and more come here every season. The track was on the Formula 1 calendar annually from 1961 until 1980. In fact, it was a critical race on the schedule because it was the location for the Formula 1 World Championship. The race didn’t last because of financial problems with the track. In 1980, the organizers defaulted on the purse, so Formula 1 removed Watkins Glen from the calendar.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
The United States Grand Prix is at COTA now, but Formula 1 raced at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the early 2000s. IMS is one of the greatest spectacles in all motorsports. Winning the Indy 500 makes you a legend, no matter what else you accomplish in your career. From 2000 to 2007, F1 took its chances on a modified speedway configuration.
However, the dream came crashing down in 2005 and never truly recovered. The 2005 US GP at Indianapolis saw one of the most embarrassing races in motorsports history. If you missed it, consider yourself lucky. It was a literal tire fire. Tire issues plagued almost every team, leaving only six cars to compete by the race’s end. NASCAR saw a similar tire fiasco at Indianapolis the following year.
Phoenix Street Circuit
From 1961 to 2007, the US GP moved around from Watkins Glen, Indianapolis and Phoenix. The debacles at the Indianapolis and Watkins Glen led people to think there was a curse for US races on the Formula 1 calendar. Tracks like COTA and Miami have broken the curse, but the bad luck took place at the Phoenix Street Circuit in its short-lived span.
The first race was in 1989, a year after NASCAR took its premier series to the Phoenix International Raceway. Anticipation was high for the event, but it quickly flopped. Mechanical failures plagued the field, with (again) only six cars remaining. The June heat was brutal on the drivers and teams. In 1990 and 1991, the race was in March, but mechanical failures again plagued the cars. By 1992, Phoenix was off the Formula 1 calendar.
America on the Formula 1 Calendar
Wherever you go in the world, people love cars and motorsports. Nations take pride in the drivers who represent them. The United States doesn’t have a wealth of F1 drivers, but the country has grown to love the sport, earning three spots on the Formula 1 Calendar. Use this guide to impress your knowledge of current and past races in the US Grand Prix.