With the classic of the season coming up, those at the F1Rogues HQ have regressed our minds back to race glory of the past and the tracks we miss from the F1 calendar. So we decided to have a think and come up with a very short list of tracks we want Bernie to bring back… and we are more than happy to get rid of some of the current less interesting tracks (*cough* Valencia *cough*).
1. Estoril, Portugal
Situated close to Lisbon in the city of Estoril, this track is basically a series of straights punctuated with hairpins bends and scarey parabolicas, but for some reason it holds a special place in our heart as one of those tracks of old that we want back! Currently used for Moto GP, Estoril hosted the Portuguese Grand Prix from 1984 to 1996 and was the scene of many a historic F1 moment, starting out with Lauda winning the 1984 World F1 Championship after the F1 season returned back to Portugal in 1984. The crowning moment which most people will remember was the near flip of Patrese’s Williams after colliding with Berger in a misunderstanding about the pit entrance.
2. Adelaide Street Circuit, Australia
The season finale for many an F1 season often with dramatic results. The street circuit situated in East Parklands, Adelaide and was used for F1 from 1985 until 1995 when the Meblourne street circuit took over. It is still used for Australian V8 Supercars.
The track is somewhat a cross between Melbourne (the park bit) and Phoenix Street Circuit (the block structure). Memorable moments for us include Frentzen’s Finger, Hakkinen’s huge crash and Mansell’s retirement with a blown tyre, ruining his chances of the 1986 world championship crown,
3. Pheonix, United States
Only used three times from 1989 to 1991, this track follows the block structure of a standard US city (although it was modified to have a curve in it for it’s final season). Senna was a two time winner and Prost was the first winner on what could be called the last successful venture to US soil (we never really liked that Indianapolis race). Although most of the races here seemed uneventful, a certain Jean Alesi made a name for himself in his second season of F1 whilst battling with Senna for the lead of the 1990 Grand Prix.
4. Brands Hatch, United Kingdom
Last used for F1 in 1986, it seems destined never to hold and F1 race ever again; reality is that Silverstone is the safe bet even though it looks like half a track. Brands is still a very active circuit with weekly meets for many categories of motorsport with Nigel Mansell holding the lap record in an F1 car at 1 min and 9.5 seconds which is already quicker than Monaco in a single lap (the car was a 1.5l V6 Turbo though).
5. Zandvoort, The Netherlands
Nestled in the sand dunes west of Amstedam, Zandvoort has held the Dutch Grand Prix 34 times and for the last time in 1985. The track was built just after World War II using roads laid down by the occupying German Army. Since then it has held racing regularly as the Netherlands premier racing track. Jim Clark has the most number of wins for a single driver and Ferrari has the most wins for a constructor. In 1995 Zandvoort extended it’s track to complete an International Grand Prix track and in 1999 it was approved as an official F1 testing track. To our knowledge it was never used for testing but a B194 piloted by Earl Goddard does hold the lap record (although technically it was a EuroBOSS race, not an F1 race). Roger Williamson lost his life there in a fiery crash on lap 8 of the 1973 Grand Prix where David Purley tried heroically, but unsuccessfully, to rescue Williamson.
Now we’ve picked just 5 of the stunning F1 tracks no longer in use and we are sure, if we try we can think of a tonne more. Do you have a favorite or a great memory of one of the tracks we chose? We’d love to hear from you1