Formula 1 tracks are designed with careful planning in mind as to how the cars will perform on the circuit. Over the years, there have been races held in multiple countries on lots of different circuits, which can lead fans to wonder just how many F1 tracks there are in the world.
There are 75 F1 tracks that have held a race since 1950, spanning 34 different countries across every inhabited continent. There are strict requirements for a track to be considered as a Formula 1 circuit. F1 currently races on 23 different tracks throughout the season.
Many countries would love to host a Grand Prix for the social and economic benefits it can bring to the country. However, it’s not as simple as just hosting a race. Formula 1 is all for visiting new countries, but there are strict requirements that need to be met, which we will discuss below.
How Many F1 Circuits Are There In The World?
A total of 75 circuits have hosted F1 races in the past. These circuits can be found across 34 different countries all around the world. Most of these circuits are no longer suitable for F1, and there are currently only 40 circuits worldwide that have a suitable FIA grade to host F1.
However, not all of these circuits can still be classified as “Formula 1 circuits” due to the fact that they can no longer host a Grand Prix. These circuits no longer meet the strict requirements that are needed for a circuit to host a modern-day Grand Prix.
What Classifies As An F1 Track?
When it comes to circuits, it’s not as simple as applying to host a Grand Prix. There’s a lot more to the hosting process, and circuits have to meet strict criteria before they are even considered to host a Grand Prix. F1 has high standards for their tracks, and nothing but the best will do.
The FIA grades each circuit based on several safety aspects. From the condition of the asphalt to the amount of run-off space, and even the condition of the barriers, every single safety aspect is carefully investigated. This is not only about the safety of the drivers, but also the safety of the spectators and pit crews.
Tracks need to spend millions of dollars each year to ensure their circuits are up to the standards the FIA requires for a Grade 1 license. The majority of circuits aren’t able to manage this upkeep, as they need to make their money back in the form of ticket sales and sponsorships.
How Many F1 Tracks Have Active Contracts?
24 F1 tracks have active contracts. Circuits usually sign multi-year contracts to be added to the F1 calendar. The number of years can vary from circuit to circuit, but they generally range from 5 to 10 years, with some being longer than that. Only the best tracks stay on the F1 schedule.
It might be easy to assume circuits that are on the calendar have contracts, but this is not always the case. With uncertainty growing on the F1 calendar as a result of Covid-19, many circuits were dropped in 2020 and 2021 and some from the past were added. As such, some circuits, such as those in Turkey and Portugal, were added despite not having F1 contracts in place.
There are currently 24 circuits that have active Formula 1 contracts. However, one of these is not on the 2022 calendar. The Shanghai circuit in China has a contract until 2025, but the races in China have been suspended due to the effects of Covid-19. The circuit is expected to re-join the calendar in 2023.
The Russian Grand Prix had its contract terminated by Formula 1 in 2022 as a result of the situation in Ukraine. This shows that under exceptional circumstances a country can lose its race. In a similar manner, Formula 1 also reserves the right to terminate its contract with a circuit if it is not kept up to F1 safety standards.
Is It Difficult For A Track To Get An F1 Contract?
Formula 1 are quite strict as to which circuits they allow on their calendar. The circuit needs to be one of the best in the world in order for it to secure a contract with Formula 1. Most circuits are just not up to standards when it comes to F1 safety requirements, even though they may be safe enough to host other racing disciplines.
There are many circuits that have hosted Grands Prix in the past but are not able to host races today. This shows just how difficult it is to get and keep an F1 contract. As an example, the first Turkish Grand Prix was hosted in 2005. After the race in 2011, the circuit was not able to secure a contract again until they upgraded their circuit. It then returned in 2020 and 2021.
If a circuit is not well looked after and properly maintained, Formula 1 cannot offer them a contract. It’s extremely difficult for circuits to land that all-important F1 contract, even if they are able to pay the amount needed to host the race.
How Many F1 Street Circuits Are There?
There are 7 street circuits on the Formula 1 calendar. Street circuits, created from closed-off public roads, are usually rare on the F1 calendar, and 7 is the most there has been in a season. The Monaco Grand Prix is the original Formula 1 street circuit and will always remain a classic event.
How Many Tracks Are On The F1 Calendar?
There are currently 22 tracks on the F1 calendar. This is the most races Formula 1 has ever had in a season. Usually, the F1 season has around 20 different races. The record for the most races in a season is 22, and Formula One are possibly looking to add more in the future.
Several teams and drivers have suggested that 22 races is too many for a Formula 1 season. The problem is that Formula 1 wants to expand into new territories, and it’s difficult considering the contracts they have in place with current circuits as well as the longevity of the season. The long seasons can put a lot of strain on the teams.
How Many Circuits Can Be On The F1 Calendar?
Technically, Formula 1 could add as many circuits to their calendar as they wish. At the end of the day, if the drivers are told they need to race 30 times throughout the season, most of them will do so if they want to stay relevant in the pinnacle of motorsports – and not break their contracts.
However, the problem is when teams and staff members have to spend so much time away from home. These staff members work incredibly hard as it is, and adding more races to the season would only pile more pressure on their shoulders.
There are 75 F1 tracks that have hosted Formula 1 races over the years. However, not all of these circuits are still capable of hosting races due to the strict requirements put in place by the FIA to keep drivers and fans safe during the race.