Formula One Races in USA: Everything You Need to Know

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The United States has been part of Formula One since 1959, when it hosted its first-ever recognized race in Sebring, Florida. This was a season finale race but that didn’t make it popular among Americans. Over the years, Formula One races in the USA have had different venues. 

From Watkins Glen, Las Vegas, Dallas, Arizona, and Michigan among others. Today, only three locations host Formula One races. In this post, we look at each of the three events on the calendar.

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The Miami Grand Prix

Formula One Races in USA: Everything You Need to Know
A view of the Miami Grand Prix start/finish and paddock. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-SA-4.0

The Miami Grand Prix is one of the three Formula One races in the USA. It takes place at the Miami International Autodrome. The first time the race was held here was in 2022, and the track is expected to host races until 2032 after they signed a 10-year contract.

Initially, the plan was to have the race take place in downtown Miami but was moved North to the track that’s surrounded by the Hard Rock Stadium. In the first race, Dutch driver Max Verstappen won the first two races.

The first proposal to introduce the race in Miami was submitted in 2018 to start in 2019. However, the construction of Port Miami delayed the bid, which was later submitted in 2021 but didn’t make it to the calendar. The Miami International Autodrome track is 5.412 km (3.363 miles), a 57-lap race. 

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The United States Grand Prix 

Formula One Races in USA: Everything You Need to Know
The 2021 United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-2.0

This is the other one of the Formula One races in the USA. It happens on the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Its history with the sport dates back to 1908 when it was called the American Grand Prize. 

It started in 1960 as an Indianapolis 500 when a decision was held to hold the race outside Europe. The race took place for the next 10 years but before it was dropped, the US Grand Prix became an official event. 

The first American championship took place in 1959 in Sebring before it was moved to the Riverside Raceway. This didn’t attract any popularity, so it went to Watkins Glen, where it did well. 

In 1976, the race’s name changed to the USA Grand Prix East until 1980. A West Coast version of the event started in 1976. This saw the event move to different parts of the country. 

By 1989, a unified Grand Prix was held in Phoenix, Arizona, but the track was considered boring. This prompted a move back to Indianapolis. Races took place here until 2005 when seven out of the 10 teams withdrew due to tyre failures. Despite this, America didn’t lose its place in the calendar. Instead, it took the race to Austin, the current circuit used. 

The first race took place in 2012 and has been held every year except in 2020 when it was cancelled due to the coronavirus. 

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Las Vegas Grand Prix

How the Las Vegas Grand Prix track was built. Video Credit: Everything Explained

The Las Vegas Grand Prix is the final Formula One Race in the USA. It debuted on the calendar in November 2023 on the Las Vegas strip. It’s an evening event and one that’s expected to be on the calendar for the next 10 years. 

The addition of this event means that the US is hosting three F1 races in a single calendar season for the first time since 1982. The circuit is 6.201 km. Dutch driver Max Verstappen won the inaugural race, with Ferrari’s Charles LeClerc taking pole and finishing second.

The United States history with Formula One continues. Today, the sport has a significant fanbase despite having only one driver, Logan Sargeant, on the grid. Which of the three Formula One races in the USA do you enjoy the most?

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