Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport. It fuses together cutting-edge technology, the most talented drivers, and the best strategic minds on the planet. While it may be the person in the car that takes most of the glory, it is a true team sport and without a closely-knit group of well-trained professionals, success would not be possible in F1.
But while the sport has always described itself as being a “World Championship”, it was, for many decades, a primarily European affair. In the last few decades, that has begun to change as F1 has spread its wings across the world.
But even with races on just about every continent, Formula 1 has still struggled to gain a foothold in the United States.
That was, until the last few years when a series of shrewd moves by the sport’s former and current owners helped to awaken the nation of more than 300 million people to the pinnacle of motorsport.
From no race in the USA for five years to three stops scheduled in the country for 2023, F1 has well and truly made it state-side.
But which of these venues will be the best? Let’s take a look.
Texas – the Circuit of the Americas
Texas is one of the US’ most famous states. It’s given the world many things, including Tex-Mex, barbecue, country music, cowboys and cowgirls, NASA, and the Dallas Cowboys.
It’s also where the world’s most popular poker variant was created. Today, millions go online to take part in games that follow the Texas hold em rules with friends and strangers. But had it not been for Texans in early 20th-century Robstown, these people would not be able to enjoy their favourite game.
But the Lone Star State has become known for something else too. For 10 years, it has played host to a round of the F1 World Championship at a purpose build circuit that’s become a firm favourite among fans and drivers.
The US has many incredible circuits, including Watkins Glenn, Sebring, Daytona, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Road Atlanta, so it surprised many in the sport when it was announced that an entirely new venue would be constructed in Texas to host the United States Grand Prix in 2012. But that’s exactly what happened.
They say everything is bigger in Texas and that’s definitely true about F1. Each year, more and more fans pack into the circuit for a weekend of high-octane fun.
That’s hard to beat, but Miami and Las Vegas will sure try.
Miami International Autodrome
The Miami International Autodrome sounds fancy, but it is essentially a purpose-built street circuit that runs around the outside of the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.
It hosted its first Grand Prix in 2022 and it was received well by most fans though it didn’t provide as much on-track action as we’ve seen at the Circuit of the Americas in recent years.
The organisers also received some criticism for some of the gimmicks deployed at the venue, most notably the fake Marina which used fake water painted on the ground and some boats that were parked on top of it.
It was still a great race though and we’ll likely see improvements for next year based on the lessons learnt from 2022.
Las Vegas has hosted a Grand Prix before, but in 2023, it won’t be run in the car park of Caesar’s Palace.
Instead, F1 and the city have teamed up to create a street circuit that incorporates the famous Las Vegas Strip and will see cars fly past famous landmarks.
The circuit design itself has been well thought out, especially given the constraints involved. It will have some incredibly long straights that follow on into heavy braking zones and tight corners, something that is likely to help with overtaking.
It’s likely to be similar to Miami in most ways, though it will have one thing that sets it apart. To make the most of the neon glow that Las Vegas is famous for, F1 will be hosting this Grand Prix at night, making it the first of its kind on the North American continent.
Deciding which one is going to be best will depend on what you’re looking for. If you want pure racing with plenty of opportunities for overtaking, then the Circuit of the Americas is definitely the one for you. But if you want an exciting show, the night race of Las Vegas may be the one to watch.