After quite a lengthy column that exposed to you the top constructor teams in the world, I bring to you some trivia that you might be hard-pressed to find anywhere else on the Internet- atleast as part of one entire article.
Considering the newly-discovered fact that the Buddh International Circuit in Noida has now been declared the second quickest track in the world after Monza (Italy), it will be interesting to analyze sporting history, popular opinion and critical knowledge in order to bring to you the unanimous choices of the top FIVE racing tracks in the world.
With Vettel destroying most track records over spontaneous last-lap qualifying sessions, it seems like a good time to browse through this famous list:
Grand Prix De Monaco
Monte Carlo- the universal playground of the ultra-rich, super-famous and the loaded socialites and other important dignitaries of the world. The circuit de Monaco, an ordinary street-racing track for the mere mortals of other racing worlds, gains infamy in the month of May every year when Formula One comes visiting.
Suicidal, if looked at from any vantage point around, the track boasts of many unique characteristics: Easily the narrowest of the calendar, a slightest mistake could send most lesser-skilled drivers cartwheeling into either the posh galleries of exclusive property surrounding the track or the yachts of the Mediterranean beyond the Beau Rivage straight. At only 3.4 kms long, the race consists of 78 laps- the largest number year around- and involves a massive amount of drama inspite of the near-impossibility of overtaking maneuvers.
19 turns over 260 kms- with the famous Portier turn that leads to the smoky tunnel that has been witness to many a blur- most notably the malfunctioning McLarens in the early 2000s, the circuit is a visual spectacle, with sheer class and exclusivity oozing out from the normalcy that bustles around the track.
Michael Schumacher still owns the track record from his heydays, and also owns another moment he might not be too proud of: Blocking Fernando Alonso during qualifying of 2005, in order to gain track position for the race. Senna, though, owns the record of 6 race wins here.
Singtel Singapore Grand Prix
The only night-race on the calendar, the circuit trumps Monaco visually because of the sheer splendor of the diamonds lightening up the night. Widely regarded as a dangerous track that is just a step away from catastrophic disaster, the Marina Bay street circuit is a unique spectacle that, when looked at from a height, is a glistening thunderbolt that can probably be seen from space. With the track being just over 5 kms in length, the race demands intense physical strength and endurance, as it includes 61 laps and over 300 kms of non-stop racing. Recently mired in a controversy when top drivers like Alonso and Hamilton complained about the safety of the circuit at the cost of spectator-entertainment, the Singapore Grand Prix is here to stay…atleast for now. Enjoy the view, till it lasts, or till Hamilton decides to push his suicidal tendencies to yet another level of hopelessness.
Japanese Grand Prix
If you go by Steve Slater’s respected (but hyper-excited) commentary, every second track in Formula One hosts one of the greatest races in the world. But this time, we’re not joking. The Suzuka Circuit is widely known as the toughest Grand Prix track in the world. Built by Honda in 1962, the circuit gained official race status over Fuji in 1987. When looked at from a height, the track resembles the number ‘8’ on drugs- which is also the average number of retirements during the race (one of the latter races in the season- witness to many Grand showdowns). Most importantly, Suzuka boasts of the longest curve in the world: the Spoon Curve, apart from one of the steepest hairpins that immediately follow the curve at turn 11.
The track truly weeds out the best from the rest- and McLaren’s Kimi Raikkonen was famous for mastering this circuit during ear-shattering qualifying sessions over the 5.8 km circuit.
Gran Premio Santander D’Italia
The Autodromo di Monza, in Italy, is the fastest circuit in the world. It has seen some of the finest races in the world, along with some of sport’s worst accidents. Initially, when built in the early 1920s, the track length was a massive 10 kms. It now stands at 5.8 kms over 53 laps- a total distance of around 305 kms. The Italians call this circuit ‘La Pista Magica’, the magic track, for the simple reason that this race combines the best of skill, speed and drama- representing itself as one of the faces of Formula One.
The start-finish straight, the Rettifilo Tribune, boasts of an average speed of 318 kms/hr.
Grande Premio PetroBras Do Brasil
The Jose Carlos Pace Circuit at Interlagos, hosts the most exciting race of each calendar year dating back to 1973. The Brazilian faithful were obsessed with the sport during the Heydays of their greatest son Senna, and he still remains the face of Brazil- the door to the Formula One world in this colorful country. One of the greatest crowds in the world frequent this circuit, and make the final race in a calendar year an experience to remember- whether it was Massa’s continuous and relentless quest to the 2008 title or Barrichello’s enduring efforts with a dominant Ferrari that always fell short at this race.
The track is also well-known for the pace the Columbian Juan Pablo Montaya would set quite often, apart from the super-quick Reta Oposta straight between turns 4 and 5.
Very soon, within a few years, we could see the Indian Grand Prix figuring amongst these great circuits- subject to the circuit’s much-hyped debut in a month’s time from now.
We will next move onto the Review of the Singapore Grand Prix over the weekend, by which we might have the youngest double World-Champion in the history of the sport.