Which Cities In The USA Have Held Formula 1 Races?
Formula 1 is the pinnacle international racing discipline with a worldwide following and influence. As such, the F1 schedule treks the globe throughout each season throughout parts of Europe, Asia, North America, and Oceania. Most of these races occur outside of the United States, but the F1 season now includes a host of races catering to U.S. fans.
Here’s a list of all the U.S. cities that have hosted Formula 1 races throughout the sport’s history.
Why are most Formula 1 races held overseas?
Formula 1 has its origins in Europe. According to ESPN, F1’s roots were founded through sanctioned European “grand prix” racing in the early 20th century, but the sport wasn’t officially established until 1950. For the first five decades of its existence, Grand Prix racing remained distinctly European until the formal establishment of Formula 1 in 1950, and it would be another three years before the sport ventured overseas – Argentina hosted the first official Grand Prix outside of Europe in 1953.
Since that time, F1’s schedule has grown to include races at points across the globe. The 2023 season includes races held in 20 countries across five continents, including three in the U.S.
U.S. cities and states that have held F1 races
Eleven U.S. cities have hosted Formula 1 races since 1950, according to Red Bull. Several cities have had extensive appearances on the F1 calendar, while others have only had brief stints in hosting the racing series. The U.S. cities to have hosted F1 races include;
Formula 1 made its first official appearance in the United States in 1950 at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Originally, the Indianapolis 500 was included in the Formula 1 season for 10 years, but Indy was cut from the schedule in 1960. The IMS returned to the F1 calendar from 2000-07, including the 2005 race in which just six competitors raced due to safety concerns over tires.
Home to the 12 Hours of Sebring, Sebring International Raceway hosted a single F1 race in 1959, won by Bruce McLaren. However, it was reported fewer than 8,000 spectators showed up for the event, and F1 has not returned to the famous track since.
Moreno Valley, California
Riverside International Raceway hosted a single F1 race in the 1960 season. The race wasn’t well publicized, resulting in a disappointing single race for the track that was a popular stop in sports car and NASCAR disciplines.
Watkins Glen, New York
Watkins Glen, New York hosted, specifically Watkins Glen International, was a fixture on the F1 calendar from 1961-1980, taking over the reins as the United States Grand Prix after the sport left Indianapolis.
Long Beach, California
The Long Beach Street Circuit remains a regular stop for IMSA and Indy Car racing, and the street course hosted F1 from 1976-1983. These races were known as the United States Grand Prix West as F1 also visited Watkins Glen during the season.
The Motor City hosted the Detroit Grand Prix from 1982-1988, with Ayrton Senna capturing a win on the street course each of the final three years of the race.
Decades before the Circuit of the Americas was built in Austin, Texas, Dallas hosted a single F1 race in 1984. The race had its share of issues, including that it was held in summer, with track temperatures reportedly reaching 150 degrees Fahrenheit, causing the track to come apart during the race. In response, gravel was used across the racing surface, and just seven competitors saw the checkered flag.
The Phoenix Street Circuit hosted F1 from 1989-1991. Phoenix was included on the schedule to return F1 to the U.S. following the exit of the U.S. Grand Prix at Long Beach. However, logistical challenges led to the desert city hosting F1 for just three races.
Las Vegas, Nevada
The 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix delivered the expected glitz of F1 in Sin City along the Las Vegas Strip, but it wasn’t the first time the series has raced in the city. The Caesars Palace Grand Prix was hosted in 1981 and 1982 in, quite literally, the casino’s parking lot, which resulted in lackluster racing and, subsequently, low attendance.
Formula 1 returned to the U.S. after a five-year absence in Austin, Texas, at the purpose-built Circuit of the Americas in 2012. COTA has remained on the F1 schedule since its inaugural race, though the 2020 race was canceled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Formula 1 returned to the Sunshine State for the 2022 season with the inclusion of the Grand Prix of Miami. The Miami International Autodrome is a circuit built around Hard Rock Stadium. The race remained on the calendar for the 2023 season.
Which country has hosted the most Formula 1 competitions?
Given its love of cars and racing, it’s unsurprising that Italy has hosted more Formula 1 races than any other country, and by a wide margin. Italy has hosted over 104 F1 races, including over 70 at Monza. Italy is the only country to host an F1 race yearly since the sport was founded in 1950.
Italy was set to host two F1 races this season at Monza and Imola, but the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix at Imola was canceled for the 2023 season due to intense flooding in the region.