With a shortened F1 ‘Super Season’ rumoured if the season can’t commence before late summer, we have picked out eight tracks which belong on the list to meet the eight race criteria to qualify as a World Championship.
The first eight races are all either postponed or cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, leaving F1 currently in limbo as to when the season could commence and a ‘Super Season’ looks a possibility if unable to start before late Summer at earliest.
This is due to confirmation that eight races are required to be run for a season to classify as a World Championship, so we have picked out top eight tracks from the initial 22 race calendar which would deserve to form part of a ‘Super Season’ if necessary.
British Grand Prix
There is no doubt that the British Grand Prix belongs on a Super Season calendar given its history in F1 and as host of the first ever race, it would be fitting to hold it during F1’s 70th year as a ‘Super Season’ opener if possible.
From the thrills of Stirling Moss’ first Grand Prix win at Aintree in 1955, to controversy at the 1976 race when James Hunt was disqualified after taking victory, to Hamilton’s 2008 wet masterclass, this race has seen it all on top of famous corners like Copse and Stowe.
This race also sums up the passion of F1 fans because it’s one of the greatest summer spectacles in British sport, as fans make a week long vacation of the event.
F1 and Great Britain would therefore both be worse off if the British GP wasn’t part of a Super Season, because it is essentially the home of motorsport for not just fans but also teams.
Belgian Grand Prix
Whether you love it or not, the Belgian GP has thrown up plenty of classics at Spa Francorchamps over the years, from a British 1-2-3-4 in the 1958 race to Damon Hill’s last F1 win in a rain soaked 1998 race to Charles Leclerc’s emotionally hard fought first F1 win last season.
In fact there are many aspects that makes this race so great from the tough challenging corners like Eau Rouge and Pouhon to the unpredictable weather, which is why the Belgian Grand Prix would be a good bet for a Super Season.
This race has also been a historic part of the F1 calendar for many years despite not always being held at Spa Francorchamps, and its hard to not see Belgium form part of an eight-race Super Season.
Italian Grand Prix
Like the British and Belgian Grands Prix, a Super Season wouldn’t be complete without the Italian GP given that its the home of Ferrari and Monza is known as the Temple of Speed.
This race however hasn’t thrown up as many classics as the first two mentioned Grands Prix, albeit sadly tinged with tragedy following the deaths of many top drivers like Wolfgang von Trips (1961), Jochen Rindt (1970) and Ronnie Peterson (1978) around the old high speed circuit.
This race also has some highs such as being the only race that McLaren failed to win in the 1988 season, as well as Sebastian Vettel’s debut F1 win in 2008 in torrential conditions.
Monza therefore has to be on any Super Season calendar given its history and the passion of Ferrari fans, who would probably riot even at the suggestion of no Italian Grand Prix if the Coronavirus pandemic had died down by September.
Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Seeing as Europe is F1’s heartland, we could also do with a newer race on ‘Super Season’ calendar and the Azerbaijan Grand Prix fits the bill perfectly given the entertainment that it provides as a street circuit despite its debut race proving a dud in 2016.
This race has also thrown up plenty of controversy from Vettel’s deliberate swerve into Hamilton under the safety car in 2017, to both Red Bulls colliding a year later then a loose manhole cover cancelled FP1 after just 12 minutes last season.
F2 drivers also seem to love this race because their races have all been utterly bonkers, including when visited in 2016 under GP2 banner for the first time with just ten cars finishing the feature race on the lead lap with 7.6s between them.
It therefore is a no brainer that Azerbaijan has to be on any Super Season calendar because it’s just pure brilliant if want a guaranteed dramatic race, and is the perfect race for junior drivers to impress with three of four F2 Azerbaijan Feature Race winners now in F1.
Brazilian Grand Prix
To avoid any debate about what constitutes a World Championship, it makes sense to include Brazil on the list given its popularity and unpredictable weather.
If there is one thing that we can most associate with Brazil and its current position on the calendar is that rain is mostly guaranteed at some point over the weekend, if the drivers’ championship isn’t sealed beforehand.
We therefore wouldn’t of had the thrillers that were the 2007 and 2008 Brazilian GPs as Hamilton blew the chance to win the title in his rookie season, before correcting that a year later at the last corner on the last lap as Felipe Massa celebrated a home win and what briefly was the title.
Brazil has also been the scene of many non title related classic moments from local hero – Ayrton Senna overcoming gearbox issues to win in 1991, to Mark Webber bidding farewell to the sport in 2013, whilst 2016 saw Max Verstappen produce a wet masterclass in overtaking as he recovered from a poor stop to finish third.
Any Super Season calendar therefore would feel slightly empty without the excitement of Brazil on the list, especially if the title was still in the balance which would likely bring the rain for qualifying or race or even both.
Mexican Grand Prix
Famed for the Peraltada hairpin which makes up the final corner out of the stadium section, it’s impossible to not include the Mexican Grand Prix because whilst the high altitude has been been a field leveller, it can thrown up unpredictable races.
Mexico has also played host to one of the most dramatic F1 finales in history when three Brits all entered the 1964 race scrapping for the title, with a multitude of scenarios as to how each driver could win the title which was eventually won by the late John Surtees.
Recent races however has seen a variety of strategies play out across entirety of each races from late unplanned two stoppers to Hamilton’s masterclass in tyre management to snatch a shock win last season.
I therefore picked Mexico because of its sheer unpredictability to partner Brazil over the USA which just lacked that craziness in comparison to Mexico.
Japanese Grand Prix
Japan is one of F1’s most popular races because Suzuka is one of those old school tracks which all drivers and fans love, with challenging corners like Degner Curve and 130R whilst also being a rare figure of eight circuit.
Fans also flock to this race from across the world given its popularity with many thrilling races, from Senna’s collisions with rival – Alain Prost in 1989 and 1990 respectively to Kimi Raikkonen’s win from 17th on grid in 2005, to Hamilton’s underrated battle with Nico Rosberg for the win in a fateful 2014 race held in torrential conditions.
No Super Season therefore would be complete without the Japanese Grand Prix because of it’s popularity with everyone in and out of the paddock.
Australian Grand Prix
Forget the contractual obligation that Abu Dhabi must be the final race because if there is one race that knows how to both open and close seasons, its the Australian Grand Prix given that it used to be the season finale in Adelaide before switching to Melbourne and the traditional season opener slot.
Many older fans around Europe will of course remember those Saturday nights when they pulled an all nighter just to watch the race live, or rather set alarm clocks when the race time was moved to suit European audiences in late 90s/early 2000s.
Australia however is much more than those all nighters because whilst racing at the front can often be dull for the first race of a new season, there is plenty of action in midfield to keep bleary eyed fans entertained.
Climate of host countries however would affect a Super Season order so having Australia as a season finale would allow us to see an entertaining Australian GP with no need to protect cars as traditional at start of a new season.
It would also mark a nice way to pay homage to one of the sport’s popular past season final race host countries, as F1 turns 70 by having the Melbourne circuit host a Super Season finale.
Now which eight races would you choose to make up a F1 Super Season if you were in charge? You can have your say by leaving a comment below.