There has been a modern trend in many sports to broaden the horizons and try to tap into new global markets and audiences – unsurprisingly, those countries with lots of money have been highest on the agenda.
Qatar, the fourth-richest country on the planet for GDP per capita as of 2022, welcomed the football World Cup that very same year, while the Spanish football federation made the rather bizarre decision to hold their Super Cup game in Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has usurped the United States and the UK as the global epicentre of boxing – much to the chagrin of the sport’s fans who want to see their favourite fighters at ringside.
Formula 1 has also been quick to enjoy a cash grab of its own. Since 2008, F1 chiefs have inaugurated Grand Prix races in Singapore (third-richest country in the world, GDP per capita), the United Arab Emirates (fifth), Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, while Russia hosted its first-ever race weekend in 2014. And the relatively-new GP in Las Vegas has, essentially, followed the money.
The big cheeses that run these sports will tell you that its about ‘growing the game’ and ‘showcasing their product’ to a new audience. But not that they very rarely visit continents like Africa or South America, where the demand is not met with an overwhelming amount of cash.
Mind you, F1 bosses have thrown something of a curveball by announcing that Madrid will host a Grand Prix for the first time in 2024. Barcelona has long been the Spanish home of Formula 1, first with the Montjuic street circuit in the 1960s and seventies and then, in the modern era, via the purpose-built Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Madrid has, sort of, held F1 races before. The Circuito del Jarama, located around 20 miles north of the city, welcomed Grands Prix to the area in even-numbered years during the sixties and seventies, alternating with Montjuic. However, the narrow track and tricky conditions saw Jarama fall off the schedule in 1982.
A New Home for the Spanish Grand Prix
As of 2026, a new circuit constructed in Madrid will take over hosting duties of the Spanish Grand Prix. Built in the city, the track is expected to combine elements of street racing – a direction that F1 chiefs appear to want the sport to go – and more traditional track-based action.
But F1 president Stefano Domenicali has not ruled out Barcelona also staying on the schedule as well.
“Looking ahead, there are discussions in place to see if we can really extend our collaboration with Barcelona, with whom we have a very good relationship, for the future,” he said.
The sport is enjoying renewed popularity in Spain, with prominent drivers like Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz – plus the success of the Drive to Survive series on Netflix – seeing TV viewing figures for GP races increase by a massive 84%.
F1, like many other sports around the world, is committed to chasing the money….
Which Country Has Had the Most F1 Races?
Given that motor racing’s competitive roots are inextricably linked to the country, it’s perhaps no surprise that Italy has hosted more F1 races than any other nation.
The introduction of new regulations on how the cars could be manufactured leads many to name 1946 as the year that the first genuine F1 race was held – it’s no coincidence that Turin therefore hosted what is the ‘unofficial official’ (if that makes sense!) inaugural race in the sport’s history.
That was won by an Italian driver racing a car manufactured in, you guessed it, Italy – Achille Varzi getting the job done on home soil in his Alfa Romeo.
It wasn’t long before Ferrari became a dominant force in F1, while drivers such as Alberto Ascari, Giuseppe Farino and Luigi Fagiolo were amongst the most prominent in the sport during its development years in the 1950s – again, Italy’s handprint on Formula One was the most sizable.
It will come as no shock to learn then that the Italian Grand Prix has been a fixture on the F1 schedule, interrupted, since 1950 – the British Grand Prix is the only other race that can lay claim to that accolade.
And the reason Italy takes the top spot for the most F1 races hosted is that it has, at times, welcomed two or three even Grand Prix renewals in a single season. The Pescara Grand Prix of 1957 – known as the ‘Coppa Acerbo – was a one-off race held on the longest circuit ever to grace a Formula One contest. The Italian Maserati cars had dominated the qualifying sessions, but it was the legendary Brit, Stirling Moss, who would break local hearts by taking the win in his Vanwall car.
Then there was the San Marino Grand Prix, which ran for 26 editions between 1981 and 2006. Because San Marino is a country in its own right, you might assume that this race wouldn’t count towards Italy’s total – however, it was actually held at the Imola racetrack, located up in the Apennine Mountains.
As Italy were unable to host two GPs in a single season, they asked the Automobile Club of San Marino just over the border to apply for an F1 licence instead – they did, it was accepted and so the San Marino Grand Prix was born….albeit a race hosted on Italian soil.
During the worldwide health crisis, F1 chiefs were eager to limit the amount of travelling between races – the season instead revolved around mini-groups of races. So, the 2020 campaign also saw a one-off Tuscan Grand Prix, while the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix also took up residence at Imola between 2020 and 2022.
No other country can match Italy’s 105 F1 races hosted, with Germany (and its former guise as West Germany) next best at 79, powered mostly by their dual Nurburgring and Hockenheim venues.
The ever-present British Grand Prix at Silverstone is in third with 78 – other UK tracks have welcomed the European Grand Prix over the years too, as well as a one-off outing during that cursed 2020 campaign.
Surprisingly to some, the United States has hosted as many as 76 F1 races – some might assume this was a relative newcomer to the sport. However, the US was a mainstay of the Formula One schedule between 1950 and 1980, with occasional stop-offs thereafter and three races – the United States Grand Prix, the Miami Grand Prix and the Las Vegas Grand Prix – as of 2024.
How Many Countries Have Hosted an F1 Race?
If we count Monaco as a country for the purposes of this article – it isn’t one, strictly speaking, but we’ll let it slide, then we can conclude that 34 different nations have welcomed an F1 race to their shores (as of 2024).
Although it’s generally agreed that the first F1 race actually took place in 1946, the maiden organised season didn’t come until 1950. The honour of hosting the first race went to Silverstone, before that abridged campaign headed to Monaco, the United States – Indianapolis 500 acted as the U.S. leg of the season, Switzerland, Belgium, France and Italy.
Germany and Spain joined the fray in 1951 and the Netherlands a year later, while Argentina was the destination for F1’s first foray to South America in 1953. Morocco, meanwhile, hosted its one and only Grand Prix in 1958.
The 1960s saw a pan-continental raft of countries join the F1 itinerary, including Austria, Canada, Mexico and South Africa, while the seventies heralded the inaugural editions of the Brazilian, Japanese and Swedish races.
By 1985, Formula One had hosted a race on every continent with the advent of the Australian Grand Prix – of course, it’s unlikely that the sport will be heading to Antarctica any time soon, even if Lewis Hamilton likes to do some of his pre-season prep there.
Which City Has Had the Most F1 Races?
Those that visit Monza, the Italian city not far from Milan, always speak highly of its charms.
That’s not to say it features high up on peoples’ travel bucket lists – unless, of course, they are F1 fans keen to drink in the city’s ‘Temple of Speed’ in all its glory.
Monza has hosted more F1 races than any other city on the planet, with its racetrack – known locally as ‘Autodromo Nazionale Monza’ – one of the most beloved on the calendar.
Built into the grounds of the Royal Villa of Monza, the circuit has hosted 73 editions of the Italian Grand Prix – it will enjoy its 75th anniversary in 2025.
As for the rest, here’s the other cities around the world that have welcomed the most F1 races:
There are some significant caveats to be made, however. Silverstone, which has hosted 58 F1 races, is effectively in the middle of nowhere in the English countryside – it’s not attached to a city, with the village of Towcester (known as a horse and greyhound racing hotspot) perhaps the most well-known landmark nearby.
In mainland Europe, many of the key racing circuits are located in towns rather than cities – Spa (home of the Belgian Grand Prix 56 times), the German towns of Nurburg (41) and Hockenheim (37), plus the Dutch coastal region of Zandvoort (33) would have all featured on the graphic above had they qualified as cities.
Instead, second place on the list goes to Monaco’s administrative centre Monte Carlo, with Montreal, Sao Paulo, Budapest and Spielberg – home to the Austrian Grand Prix and the 2020-only Styrian GP – also prominent as F1 host cities.
Where Has F1 Raced in the UK?
You might think that Silverstone has been the exclusive host of F1 races on British soil – but you’d be wrong.
British F1 Tracks (1950 to 2023)
|1950 – Present
|1964 to 1986
|1955 to 1963
The Aintree Motor Racing Circuit, which can be found on the grounds of the famous racecourse that hosts the Grand National, hosted the British Grand Prix on and off between 1955 and 1962. Designed to be the ‘Goodwood of the north’, Aintree’s track no longer welcomes big race meetings – although there is still an active racing interest via motorcycle and car sprint renewals.
You may well have heard of Brands Hatch – to this day it hosts legs of the British Touring Car Championship, Formula 4 and British Superbikes.
But from 1964 to 1986, it jointly shared British Grand Prix hosting duties with Silverstone and welcomed the occasional European Grand Prix too. Brands Hatch has played host to some epic F1 moments over the years – including Nigel Mansell’s maiden win in 1985.
And last but by no means least, mention must be made of Donington Park too. Located in the Leicestershire countryside, the track welcomes all manner of motorcycle and sportscar races these days, but in 1993 it had the honour of hosting the European Grand Prix – the legendary Ayrton Senna taking first place ahead of Damon Hill.
How Many Formula 1 Races Have There Been in the United States?
The United States is something of a veteran of hosting F1 races, dating back to the decade-long stint of the Indianapolis 500 on the Formula One schedule from 1950 to 1960.
In 1959, the United States Grand Prix was inaugurated at the Sebring International Raceway near Florida. Since then, the race has been a near permanent fixture on the calendar, barring a few years off here and there, with ten different venues on hosting duty.
Watkins Glen, known colloquially as ‘The Glen’, welcomed the United States GP between 1961 and 1980, before a nine-year hiatus was followed by the return of the race to a street circuit in Phoenix, Arizona.
A further stint at the Indianapolis circuit in Indiana followed early in the new millennium, before the U.S. Grand Prix set up home at the venue it still swings by to this day – the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
USA F1 Tracks (1950 to 2023)
|1961 to 1980
|1950 to 2007
|2012 – Present
|1976 to 1983
|1982 to 1988
|1989 to 1991
|2022 to Present
|1981 to 1982
|2023 to Present
That’s not the only F1 race to have taken place on American soil, with various others being added to – and, in most cases, then taken away again – the schedule. There were eight editions of the United States Grand Prix West, held in Long Beach, California, between 1976 and 1983, before two renewals of the doomed Caesars Palace Grand Prix around the car park of the Las Vegas casino in 1982 and ’83.
Both Detroit and Dallas welcomed their own F1 races in the 1980s too, before two modern day Grands Prix were added to the calendar, where they remain to this day – the Miami Grand Prix, held at the Miami International Autodrome, and the Las Vegas Grand Prix; which winds its way around the infamous strip of the place known as ‘Sin City’.
Which are the Street Circuits in F1?
Although purists of the sport tend to prefer the traditional action out on the track, more casual observers – a market that F1 chiefs are keen to tap into – will almost certainly prefer to see the cars whizzing around a street circuit through some of the most recognisable cities on earth.
From the severe undulations of the Montjuic track in Barcelona to the ocean views of Long Beach – not to mention that infamous jaunt around the Caesars Palace car park, these street circuits have become some of the most iconic in the history of F1.
The good news is that Formula One bosses are keen to continue in that heritage, adding new street races to the schedule in recent years, and while these can present safety and logistical issues – getting the Las Vegas GP of 2023 underway proved to be a real struggle at times, there’s no doubt that street circuits are here to stay.
As of the 2024 season, here’s a list of the street tracks you can expect to see in F1:
- Albert Park (Adelaide, Australian Grand Prix)
- Baku City Circuit (Baku, Azerbaijan Grand Prix)
- Circuit de Monaco (Monte Carlo, Monaco Grand Prix)
- Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (Montreal, Canadian Grand Prix)
- Jeddah Corniche (Jeddah, Saudi Arabian Grand Prix)
- Las Vegas Strip (Nevada, Las Vegas Grand Prix)
- Marina Bay (Marina Bay, Singapore Grand Prix)