The Most Iconic Modern Formula One Circuits

Spa: an incredible setting, an incredible circuit, but will it make our list?

F1 is about many things, the drivers and the cars being paramount, of course, but the circuits are every bit as important a part of the sport as those two fundamentals. The fact they change, both new ones coming in, others dropping out, plus the tracks themselves undergoing improvements/modifications, means it is a sport that can and never will stand still. Here we look at – in no particular order – some of the modern great circuits.

Circuit Zandvoort

The Zandvoort Circuit may not be first on the lips of new F1 converts, but it will always have a place in the hearts of older fans. The Netherlands has been a hotbed of Formula 1 throughout the sport's history, and Verstappen's success has only added to that. In fact, Formula 1 odds had kept Max Verstappen as the favorite to clinch a second world championship, a fact that has finally come to pass.

Zandvoort has some of the best bends in motorsport, and each of those from 3 through to 7 would stand up on its own as a highlight on many circuits, but here they only serve as the entrée to the incredible 8. The banking adds an extra element, and in days when car enhancements have tamed the likes of Spa, Zandvoort remains both the fan’s ultimate spectacle and driver’s challenge.

Suzuka

A track that is incredible to drive, as well as one which is incredible to watch the best drivers in the world drive. Bruce Lee’s philosophy was “to flow like water” and this is a circuit that sticks to those same principles. Many people’s favourite race on the calendar and it is hard to come up with many arguments against that.

Singapore

The Most Iconic Modern Formula One Circuits

Singapore provides one of the most remarkable settings for any sport

From the sublime to the ridiculous. The Singapore street circuit may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the heat and humidity may well be a driver’s worst nightmare, there may be fewer passing places than Monaco, and there is almost always going to be the safety car, but there is something this race dishes out in bucketfuls: jaw-dropping footage. The combination of the ultra-modern buildings, the glitz and glamour, all served with an Asian twist, plus of course the fact it is at night under the dazzling floodlights means that this is a spectacle like no other.

Silverstone

It has been a turbulent few years for this F1 staple, and when changes were announced, eyebrows were raised. After all, many of the bends at Silverstone are some of the most famous in the sport. People need not have worried, however. Those changes have made something fabulous even better. One of the many beauties of this circuit is that it almost always delivers a memorable race. For all the right reasons.

Monza

Monza is synonymous with F1. It conjures up everything that is good and great about the sport, and the race itself is always a spectacle with the stands ablaze, with the red of the thousands of adoring Ferrari fans. Perhaps if this was a new track it would be less likely to be on this list, but even in F1 there should be a place for sentimentality. The parabolica, sorry, the Curva Alboreto, almost justifies its inclusion by itself.

Monaco

Monaco suffers from many of the same issues mentioned for the Singapore GP earlier, but if you are after glitz and glamour there is no better place on the calendar, or indeed on planet earth than Monte Carlo. For many – perhaps those who don’t follow the sport week in, week out – Monaco is Grand Prix racing, and it seems almost sacrilegious to have a list of iconic circuits and not include it. Speculation has cast doubt even on such an institution as this, but recent developments assured its presence until at least 2025.


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3 F1 Fan comments on “The Most Iconic Modern Formula One Circuits

  1. smokey

    Of course, Leopold, you are entitled to your opinion. I am certain there are many, including me, who don't agree with your choice of the most iconic circuits.
    From my perspective, Spa is a must to include owing to it's location and it's unique challenge for the cars and drivers. Montreal also should be included for the same reasons.
    Monaco was good when cars were much narrower and there were fewer of them, however, Monaco is now past it's use by date! The other issue with Monaco is that there are too many wankers and would-be-if-they-could-be types who are at Monaco not for the F1 event but to promote their own self interests. Suzuka, Monza and Silverstone are all essential to include, whereas Zandvoort and Singapore are optional, not essential.

    Reply
    • Leopold Post author

      Hi Smokey, your opinion is very much appreciated and Spa should indeed be up there.

      My favourite is the Nordschleife (Old Nurburgring), the king of all circuits. I hope F1 will go back there now the cars are much more safe, but they probably won't.

      Reply

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