Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 22 November 2014

The world's best Formula 1 street circuits

<b>Circuito da Boavista Grand Prix</b><br/>
The circuit in Porto hosted the Portuguese Grand Prix between 1958 and 1960. The course began at the harbour or the 'Esplanada do Rio de Janeiro' as it is locally known. It continued on to 'Avenida da Boavista', and then coiled through small housing estates and then back to the start-finish line. In a time that seems very distant from now, drivers would have to negotiate tramlines and cobblestone streets at high speeds
Circuito da Boavista Grand Prix
The circuit in Porto hosted the Portuguese Grand Prix between 1958 and 1960. The course began at the harbour or the 'Esplanada do Rio de Janeiro' as it is locally known. It continued on to 'Avenida da Boavista', and then coiled through small housing estates and then back to the start-finish line. In a time that seems very distant from now, drivers would have to negotiate tramlines and cobblestone streets at high speeds
Singapore Marina Bay Grand Prix
Hosting the Grand Prix since 2008 after a thirty-four year absence, the track has become one of the most anticipated and dramatic races in the calendar, largely due to the fact that it is staged at night. It takes place under powerful street lights on the public roads of the Marina Bay area that the race is named after.
Monaco Grand Prix
The glamour race of the year that attracts a myriad of celebrities. The course is laid out once a year on the narrow roads of Monte-Carlo with the beautiful harbour view as its backdrop. The barriers right on the road edge leave little room for error and many drivers regard it as the toughest race in the calendar. Nelson Piquet once commented that racing there is "like trying to cycle around your living room."
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
The circuit was designed by Hermann Tilke to be the Arabian version of Monaco. It takes place on the Yas Island and the track weaves past the Yas Marina and its hotel, a theme park, sand dunes, beaches as well going through several residential areas; The drivers are provided with a massive diversity of views on the 5.5km track. This year's race on 14 November will be the last of the season, giving it the potential to play host to a thrilling Championship finale.
Valencia Grand Prix
The track has hosted the European Grand Prix since 2008. The drivers race through the streets in and around the city's port area rather than at the racetrack on the outskirts of Valencia. The course includes some roads designed by the German architect, Hermann Tilke, who also designed several other street circuits.
Caesar Palace Grand Prix
The Caesar Palace Grand Prix took place in Las Vegas and was on the Formula One calendar between 1981 and 1982. Ironically for such a glamorous sounding event, it took place in a parking lot, albeit the parking lot of the Caesar Hotel. It was hugely popular with spectators for its wide roads that encouraged overtaking but it was taken off the calendar because of the drivers' complaints about the desert heat. However, rumours continue to circulate of a return to the Formula One schedule...
Melbourne Grand Prix
The Melbourne street circuit has played host to the Australian Grand Prix since 1996 using the roads that circle Albert Park Lake. The streets were re-laid for the inaugural event fourteen years ago therefore making it smoother than other street circuit and popular with the drivers.
Adelaide Grand Prix
The Adelaide Street circuit hosted a Grand Prix eleven times between 1985 and 1995. The temporary track ran through the business district of the town and wrapped around Victoria Park. It was faster than most other street circuits with speeds of up to 192 mph being reached on one of the circuit's long straights.
Montjuic Grand Prix
The high-speed race took place on the public, sloping roads of Montjuic Mountain from 1968 in Catalonia, Spain. Many people still regard it as one of the best Formula One circuits of all time. However, it was taken of the calendar in 1975 when, tragically, the car of Rolf Stommelen (pictured) left the circuit and killed five people.
Korean Grand Prix
The street race, scheduled to hold its first Grand Prix this year on 24 October, has been dogged by talk that it will not go ahead. Rumours that the track will not be ready on time and rising political tensions in the area continue to permeate. The track is located in Yeongam and is another designed by the German designer, Hermann Tilke. Drivers will race along the harbour where spectators from the promenade, hotels and yachts can watch. Local facilities such as shops, restaurants and cafes will be used as the pit lane over Grand Prix weekend.

Formula One heads to Singapore this weekend for one of the highlights of the season, the Marina Bay Grand Prix.

The street race, taking place at night time, provides an awe inspiring backdrop to on-track events. In anticipation of the weekend's action, we take a look at the best street races in the world of motor sport

>> Click on the image to launch our guide.

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