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Europe's Best Motor Racing Tracks

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Europe's Best Motor Racing Tracks

The 2015 season features only 19 races, dropping the German Grand Prix from the schedule without a replacement. Early races include the Australian, Malaysian, and Chinese Grand Prix. In honour of the start of another glorious F1 season, here is a look at some of the best and most famous tracks of the past and present:

Monza, Italy

The Italian Grand Prix is one of the premier F1 races, held every year since 1950. And all of those years except one (in 1980) have taken place at Monza. The original Monza National Autodrome was built in 1922 and the track has undergone many changes in its nearly 100-year history.

The modern incarnation dates to 2000, when changes were made to slow down curves, especially the Lesmo turn, and convert one stretch into a two-corner sequence. The track still boasts uninterrupted straights and amazing speeds.

Estoril, Portugal

Host of the Portuguese Grand Prix during 13 racing seasons (1984-1996), this circuit is the home to significant racing moments such as three time world champion Ayrton Senna’s first F1 win. Built in 1972, the circuit was originally designed as 11-corner layout. The course was later redesigned to include 2 Gancho hairpins, making it similar to the Spanish Catalunya circuit. The overall effect is a twisty course that promotes close racing.

Though Estoril has not been part of the F1 calendar since 1997, it continues to host touring events such as the FIA GT Championship. In 2000, the track hosted the Portuguese motorcycle Grand Prix for the first time.

Silverstone, United Kingdom

The Silverstone circuit, located in Northamptonshire, is built on the site of an old WWII Royal Air Force bomber station. The site first hosted the British Grand Prix back in 1948, and is still the current home for the event.

The course has been modified several times in its long history, with the most recent major redesign in 2010. The highlight of the course is Maggots Corner, which takes its name from the local Maggots Moor. Racers routinely take this part of the course at 180 mph.

Clermont-Ferrand, France

Built in 1958 around an extinct volcano, this circuit hosted the French Grand Prix four times between 1965 and 1972. Also known as the Charade Circuit, the course took advantage of local topography to create a course so twisty that drivers often complained of motion sickness.

The mountainous terrain led to dangerous driving conditions, with injuries and vehicle damage caused by rocks thrown up by passing racers. After numerous accidents, including the death of three marshals during a touring car race, the track’s last race was held in September 1988. Today a shorter circuit operates at the site, hosting Formula Three races.

Spa, Belgium

Known for its tight turns and gut-wrenching corners, the Spa-Francorchamps circuit is a fan favourite for witnessing superb F1 driving skill. Designed in 1920, the original circuit was a triangle-shaped course that relied on public roads. Up until the 1970s, there were no safety modifications to the circuit and it had a reputation for being very fast and also very dangerous.

Today’s incarnation is still the world’s fastest open road course, with speeds of 205 miles in the hilly straightway of the circuit. The track was the location for the initial Belgian Grand Prix back in 1925 and has hosted the event almost continuously, except for a period in the late 70s-early 80s where the Grand Prix was held at Zolder.

These tracks represent some of the finest racing opportunities for F1 drivers and have been fan favourites for decades. A sense of history, of past glories and defeats, losses and triumphs, has made these circuits a part of F1 history.

For information about how Aerocom Metals supply key metals to the motor racing industry, get in touch by calling +44 (0) 2476 645 551. You can also contact us online .

by Paul Smith

General News