30 November 2013
Six of the Best: Possible future F1 circuits
With the latest version of the 2014 F1 calendar circulated in Austin showing only 19 races, Crash.net columnist Will Saunders takes a look at possible future circuits in his latest 'Six of the Best' feature...
With the latest version of the 2014 F1 calendar circulated in Austin showing only 19 races, it seems that there's still a surprising degree of flux surrounding the confirmation of next season's schedule.
Considering the continued propensity for change, Crash.net bangs the drum for six of the best international circuits to have neither hosted a Grand Prix nor played regular host to an established international-class event, destinations that would be potential firm fan favourite additions to the 2014 roster and beyond.
1. Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, Portugal
F1 has been absent from Portugal since 1996, when Estoril, the Portuguese Grand Prix's home for 12 years, fell off the calendar after promised renovations failed to materialise.
There is though a ready-made replacement nestling on the south coast of the Algarve, with the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, built at a cost of $250 million in 2008, looming on the horizon as an increasingly viable drop-in solution to F1's scheduling issues.
A wide, undulating, 2.9 mile loop encompassing 18 flowing corners and two long straights, the Park Algarve complex best resembles F1's newest universally popular purpose-built addition, Austin's Circuit of the Americas.
With a three-lane motorway servicing the circuit, and Faro airport just 45 minutes away from the track, not to mention the 80,000 capacity grandstands and ample spectator facilities, the Algarve complex is perfectly equipped to host F1 in the immediate future.
Equally importantly, the circuit has the credentials to offer exciting racing, as opposed to some of the bland Tilkedromes constructed in the past few years. Endorsed by Max Mosley, the circuit also has glowing testimonials from drivers across the GP2, A1GP, World Series by Renault, GT Championship and Superbike World Championship races that have taken place at the track since 2009.
With the Algarve International Circuit well established as a top-class motorsport destination, the circuit's ambitious owners are looking to broaden their horizons – and have F1 firmly in their crosshairs. The Algarve coast is a winning holiday destination year-round, so what price a sunny jaunt to southernmost Europe for the F1 circus in the near future?
2. Guia Circuit, Macau
One of the world's most iconic motor racing destinations, the Guia Circuit in Macau has long been renowned as a street circuit challenge comparable only to Monaco in terms of difficulty, prestige and glamour.
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