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The First Formula 1 Race

The first ever Formula 1 World Championship race was held on May 13, 1950 at the Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire, England. Silverstone was originally a World War II airfield and the perimeter roads were used as the race track layout. The first race, called the 1950 British Grand Prix, was won by Giuseppe “Nino” Farina driving an Alfa Romeo. It drew over 100,000 spectators and established Silverstone as the home of the British Grand Prix.

track with most races in formula 1 history

The Autodromo Nazionale Monza, located just outside Milan, Italy, is considered by many to be the true home of Formula 1 racing. Monza has hosted more Formula 1 Grands Prix than any other track, with 73 races held there since 1950. Its high speed straights and sweeping curves have led to Monza’s nickname – “The Temple of Speed.”

Monza has seen great feats, intense battles, triumph, and tragedy over the years. The tifosi, as Italian motorsport fans are known, flock to Monza every year and create a festival-like atmosphere filled with passion for racing.

Winning the Italian Grand Prix at Monza is considered a special achievement in Formula 1. With its rich history, devoted fans, challenging layout, and reputation for sheer speed, Monza stands in a category of its own and earns its status as the temple of Formula 1.

Countries That Have Hosted The Most Races

Over 73 seasons, Formula 1 has visited 32 different countries and 84 circuits. Some countries like Great Britain and Italy have featured on the calendar every single year since the inaugural 1950 season. Others have come and gone, sometimes reappearing after absences of over a decade. Nonetheless, hosting a Grand Prix is considered prestigious for a country and is used to drive tourism and place themselves on the global sporting stage.

Here are the countries that have hosted the most Formula 1 World Championship Grand Prix events in the history of the sport:

1. Italy – 105 Races

With 105 total races since 1950, Italy comes out on top as the country to have hosted the most Formula 1 events. The Italian Grand Prix has run every year since the first Formula 1 season, mostly taking place at the iconic Monza circuit near Milan. Monza has hosted 73 editions of the Italian Grand Prix.

Imola hosted the San Marino Grand Prix between 1981 and 2006 which added to Italy’s tally. Recently, Imola returned to the calendar and seems to be staying with us for longer. Mugello held the Tuscany Grand Prix in 2020. The Pescara circuit held an official F1 championship race in 1957. Across those 4 circuits, Italy has hosted a staggering 105 Formula 1 races over 73 years.

monza word circuit aerial view shot from drone on sunset

2. Germany – 79 Races

Germany has hosted 79 Formula 1 races, making it second on the list. The bulk of those have been shared between two legendary circuits – the Nürburgring and Hockenheimring. Each of those tracks has alone hosted over 35 German Grand Prix events.

AVUS in Berlin hosted the German GP in 1959 as a one-off. Though no German GP is on the 2024 calendar, the country’s motorsport culture and infrastructure means it may return again soon when economically viable. It won’t be an easy return, as the classic tracks of Nurburgring and Hockenheim have to compete with the much better funded tracks in the US, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

3. United Kingdom – 77 Races

The United Kingdom comes in third, having hosted 77 Formula 1 championship events. A British Grand Prix has been held every single year since 1950, alternating between Silverstone, Brands Hatch, and Aintree over the years. Silverstone has become the permanent home of the British GP though and takes the lion’s share of the races.

Donington Park held the European Grand Prix in 1993 while Brands Hatch hosted it in 1983 and 1985 as added races for the UK. Silverstone also held the one-off 70th Anniversary Grand Prix in 2020 to mark the 70th year of Formula 1 racing.

Editorial use only 1949 Rover Special and 1951 Alta, Silverstone, Northamptonshire, 20th July 1968. Frank Lockhart in the very fast Rover Special, No 12, gives chase to the 1959 Alta of M Adams at the Woodcote corner in a Vintage Sports Car Club (VSCC) race.

4. United States – 76 Races

The United States actually comes fourth, rather than Germany, having hosted 76 championship Formula 1 events. In the early years, the Indianapolis 500 race counted towards championship points despite using different regulations.

The United States Grand Prix has taken place at 10 different circuits – making it the country to host F1 races at the highest number of venues. Long Beach, Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas, Phoenix, Indianapolis, and Austin have all hosted a United States Grand Prix. In 2022, Miami joined the calendar with it’s street track, and a year later Formula 1 added another US race in Las Vegas. The process of americanization is well underway, and with 3 races per year in a calendar, USA will quickly overtake UK and Germany.

5. Monaco – 69 Races

The glamorous street circuit of Monaco has hosted 69 races since 1950, making it fifth. An F1 driver’s career is not considered complete without winning the showpiece event of the Monaco Grand Prix. Of the current drivers, only Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, and Max Verstappen have won there.

Monaco misses out on a higher spot due to cancellations in 1951, 1953, 1954 and 2020. But its position as one of the blue riband events of the F1 calendar cannot be overstated.

6. Belgium – 68 Races

Belgium takes sixth place with 68 hosted events since 1950. Spa-Francorchamps is considered one of the best driver’s circuits in Formula 1 but has faced competition from newer venues. Races have been held at four circuits – Spa-Francorchamps, Zolder Circuit, Nivelles-Baulers and Circuit de Bruxelles.

Eau Rouge, Pouhon and Blanchimont are iconic corners that have challenged the best drivers in F1. Recent contract extensions ensure Spa stays on the calendar until at least 2026.

7. France – 63 Races

France takes seventh place with 63 hosted Grands Prix. Magny-Cours and Circuit Paul Ricard have been the most regular venues. The likes of Reims, Rouen, Charade, Le Mans and Dijon have also held races sporadically between 1950 and 2008 before dropping off the calendar.

France is considered the spiritual home of Grand Prix racing, with the first official event taking place there in 1906. After a decade-long break, the French Grand Prix returned in 2018 at Paul Ricard where it has stayed since.

8. Spain – 60 Races

Spain has hosted 60 Formula 1 championship events to date. Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has been the regular host since 1991, cementing itself as the popular Spanish Grand Prix venue. Prior to that, races were held at Jarama, Montjuic, Pedralbes and Jerez sporadically.

Valencia hosted 5 European Grand Prix races as a second Spanish event between 2008 and 2012 before funding dried up. In 2025 Formula 1 will move from the classic track of Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya to a street track in Madrid, and Spain will continue climbing up the ranking, likely to overtake France in the upcoming years.

9. Canada – 52 Races

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal has been the home of the Canadian Grand Prix since 1978 after early races alternated between Mosport Park and Mont-Tremblant. The Canadian GP has featured on 52 occasions since 1967 with popularity growing especially after the success of Jacques Villeneuve in the 1990s.

Races have only been missed sporadically in Canada – mostly for sponsorship or economic reasons. Its future on the Formula 1 calendar seems safely assured in the short to medium term at least.

10. Brazil – 50 Races

Rounding out the top 10 is Brazil which has hosted 50 Formula 1 championship events. Early races switched between Interlagos and the Jacarepaguá circuit in Rio de Janiero. But since 1990, Interlagos has become the sole and much-loved home of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The success of legendary drivers like Ayrton Senna and Nelson Piquet has turned Brazil into one of Formula 1’s heartlands. Fans are known to be some of the most passionate, with an electric atmosphere at the events, and Brazil has one of the biggest viewership group of all countries following Formula 1.

Other Notable Countries & Circuits

Other countries that have held over 20 Formula 1 championship events include Argentina, Austria, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, and South Africa in descending order. Many classic circuits are scattered among them like the Österreichring, Kyalami, Fuji Speedway, and the Hermanos Rodriguez Autodrome.

There are also countries that have only hosted 1 or 2 F1 races such as Morocco, Qatar, Korea, and Las Vegas. Some like India and Turkey had short-lived spells on the calendar too.

So in summary, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom are the stalwarts that have hosted over 75 Formula 1 championship races each. Joining them are the United States, Monaco, Belgium, and France who all have a long F1 heritage.

The changing politics and economics of Formula 1 means the calendar is always evolving. But a few core heartland countries and classic circuits will likely continue to feature as the most common hosts well into the future.

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