For a track to qualify as one of the world’s hottest racetracks, it has to incorporate several elements. It must provide adrenaline-pumping challenges for drivers, with the opportunity to reach great speeds and show off their tremendous skill on hair-raising bends; it must be electrifying for spectators; it needs to be located amongst impressive scenery; and it has to offer something unique to both observers and participants.
Plenty of thrills are on offer at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium. At just over 7km long, the track is surrounded by forest and the magnificent scenery of the Ardennes. The fastest lap time was set by Michael Schumacher in 2002, who averaged a speed of more than 241km/h. The track has a huge slope and fast corners, and is most famous for the Eau Rouge/Raidillon combination; the driver is launched steeply uphill into a collection of corners, requiring a lot of skill, and onto a blind summit.
One of the most famous racetracks in the world has to be Monte Carlo. The location is Monaco on the French Riviera, a playground for the rich and famous. The two-mile loop through the narrow, winding streets of Monaco sweeps past the famous casino, through the tunnel and along the yacht-filled harbour. The race is gripping because of the challenge offered by the narrow barriers, and the location has to be on the list of “places to see” for many.
Circuit de la Sarthe
This renowned racetrack, located in Le Mans, Maine, France, is just over 13.6km long and has been in use since 1923. The track is famous for Le Mans 24 Hours Circuit – a 24-hour endurance race around the track and streets of Le Mans. The track has also hosted MotoGP, the French Grand Prix, and Le Mans 24 Hours Moto.
This 3.6km racetrack in California, US, originally went around a lake, which has now dried up. The track has undergone significant changes over the past 20 years to meet safety regulations, including extending the track from 1.9 miles to 2.2 miles. It is famous for its 11 turns; in particular, the Corkscrew, with its drop of 59 feet between the entrance and exit of the turn.
There are many more red-hot racetracks around the world that offer mind-blowing thrills, including:
- The fastest F1 track on the modern calendar, Monza in north Italy.
- Hockenheimring in the Rhine Valley in Germany, which witnessed Rubens Barrichello’s first F1 win in 2000.
- Autódromo José Carlos Pace, home to the Brazilian Grand Prix.
- Silverstone in Northamptonshire, famous for corners Becketts and Copse.
- Nurburgring Nordschleife, Germany, which is now considered too dangerous for F1.
Formula One is a fast-paced sport that is ever changing and incorporating changes and developments in technology and safety. Have a look at Max Mosley’s F1 blog for information and opinions from the former President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) on issues surrounding F1.
The list of hottest racetracks is set to continue to change as new and exciting challenges present themselves along the way. This is great news for racing fans all over the world.