We love F1 street races, and now the Las Vegas GP has been confirmed as a street race for 2023, we take a look at all the street races on the F1 calendar for 2023 and look at the history of street races in F1.
What Is A Street Race In F1?
As the name suggests, a street race in F1 is a race that takes place on the streets, as opposed to a traditional racing circuit.
Street races offer a unique challenge for the drivers, the teams, and the cars themselves. Street circuits are often much tighter than circuit tracks, and there’s little room for mistakes as there’s often there’s no run-off space.
Whilst street races can make for some stunning backdrops to a race, the downside is there’s little room for overtaking due on some of the tracks due to the lack of room on track.
What Races Are Street Races In F1 For The 2023 Season?
There will be a total of eight street races in F1 for the 2023 season.
- Albert Park Circuit (Australian Grand Prix)
- Baku City (Azerbaijan Grand Prix)
- Monaco (Monaco Grand Prix)
- Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve (Canadian Grand Prix)
- Jeddah Corniche Circuit (Saudi Arabian Grand Prix)
- Las Vegas Street Circuit (Las Vegas Grand Prix)
- Marina Bay Street Circuit (Singapore Grand Prix)
- Miami International Autodrome (Miami Grand Prix)
Are F1 street races permanent?
No, but on some circuits, some of the racing infrastructure, such as barriers or curbs are in place permanently. This is most evident in Monaco, where they keep the racing curbs in place all year round.
Have any street races been sprint races?
Currently, there have been no sprint races held at street circuits, although that may change for the 2023 season as F1 announced there will be six sprint races for next year, and they are yet to confirm which circuits the sprint races will be held on.
That being said, sprint races tend to be held on tracks where there are more overtaking opportunities, so it would come as a surprise if there was a sprint race held at a street circuit.
Current F1 Street Races
Out of the current street races, Monaco remains the jewel in the crown, despite criticisms from fans that it always produces boring races due to the lack of overtaking opportunities. In a way, Monaco encapsulates what F1 is about, with the glitz, glamour, and tradition of Monaco and the Monaco Grand Prix. Speaking of tradition, it was always a Monaco tradition to have practice sessions on Thursday, which is different from the normal Grand Prix race weekend format. Qualifying would take place on Saturday as usual, and then the race on Sunday. This came to an end in the 2022 season due to logistical challenges for the teams.
Arguably the fan’s favourite street race is the Australian Grand Prix held at Albert Park Circuit. Whilst the track uses public rounds that circulate around the lake in Albert Park, the track holds characteristics of a race circuit, with fast corners and a smooth surface, whilst still holding that street race feeling with concrete barriers close to the track and limited run-off areas.
Along with the new Las Vegas Grand Prix, both the Singapore Grand Prix and the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix are street races and night races, which adds another exciting element to the races.
History Of Street Races In F1
There’s been an influx of street races in F1 over the last decade or so, but street races aren’t a new thing. There’s been a total of 18 different venues that have held an F1 street race, and soon to be 19 with the brand new Las Vegas GP for the 2023 season.
The 1950s saw a number of street races on the F1 calendar, the first being Monaco in 1950. F1 didn’t return to the streets of Monte Carlo until five years later, where it has remained on the racing calendar ever since (apart from the 2020 season which was impacted by COVID).
Other street races in the 1950s include Pedralbes Circuit in Barcelona (1951 & 1954), Circuito da Boavista in Porto (1958 & 1960), and the Circuito de Monsanto in Lisbon (1959).
F1 Street Races In The USA
Both the Miami GP, which made its debut in 2022, and the brand-new Las Vegas GP are street races. But they are far from the first street races to take place in the US. In fact, it’s not even the first street race to take place in Las Vegas.
Caesars Palace Grand Prix took place in 1981 & 1982 and entirely took place on the grounds of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The race didn’t continue after 1982 due to the hotel losing money after the race failed to attract any large crowds.
Both Dallas and Detroit also held F1 events in the 1980s. The Dallas Grand Prix was only held once in 1984, whilst the Detroit Grand Prix was held from 1982 – 1988. Detroit Street Circuit was also home to other race series, including IndyCar, until 1991. In 2022 IndyCar announced a return to race in downtown Detroit, using a number of original corners of the Detroit Street Circuit.