A History of Formula One in the USA

By  //  August 4, 2022

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Formula One is one of the most popular motorsports in the world and has managed to attract plenty of interest from fans in the United States, too!

The current Formula One championship made its debut in 1946, and it is believed that the 1920s and 1930s European Grand Prix races are where the sport had its start.

By winning the championship seven times, Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton drove on to hold the record for most Grand Prix victories.

Out of the 770 drivers competing in the Grand Prix as of the just finished 2021 season, 34 Formula One racers have achieved the world championship, with Max Verstappen holding the title currently. The fact that British drivers have won the most championships is also noteworthy.

When taking a look at American history in motorsport, the records are not as impressive, though. For instance, the US has only been able to cheer on Phil Hill and Mario Andretti as champions, with wins in 1961 and 1978 respectively. In fact, Andretti was the last American to win a Grand Prix which was in the 1978 championship-winning year when he won the Dutch Grand Prix for Lotus.

Nonetheless, while there has been very little success in the sport from an individual perspective, there is no denying that the country has helped grow the sport, with various race circuits to have been used, and newer locations being added to the calendar, too!

F1 will race on the Las Vegas Strip in 2023

The most glitzy racing series in the world, the F1 has added a race that will be competed on the strip of Las Vegas to the 2023 F1 schedule.

The sights along the temporary street circuit created for a Saturday night race in November 2023 will be the Bellagio, Caesars Palace, and the MSG Sphere.

With Sin City known for its gambling culture and themes, it would not be a surprise if we were to hear about record F1 betting numbers when the race takes center stage in Nevada as sports betting enthusiasts will be able to wager on who they believe will win the Grand Prix! Many, though, will already be placing bets on who will win the main titles this season.

For instance, Max Verstappen is the overwhelming favorite to be crowned the 2022 Formula One World Champion at -670, while Red Bull Racing is -500 to take the Constructors Championship, with Ferrari priced at +400.

Additionally, a first for F1, the race will be promoted by both the series and Liberty Media Corp, F1’s American parent company.

F1, which has competed on the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, since 2012, and made its debut in Miami in May, will make its third stop in the United States next season with the race in Las Vegas.

The Circuits

Let’s take a look at some of the F1 race circuits to have been utilized in the history of the US GP below and all of the important details regarding each of those tracks:

Track Year Length Fastest Lap
Dallas Race Track


1984 3.901 km (miles) N. Lauda, McLaren MP4-2 – (1984) – 1’45.353″ 133.3 km/h (mph)
Detroit Race Track


1982 – 1988 4.023 km (miles) A. Senna, Lotus/Honda – (1987) – 1’40.464″ 144.172 km/h (mph)
Las Vegas Track


1981 -1982 3.65 km (last race) ( miles) Alboreto, Tyrrell 011 – (1982) – 1’19.639″ 164.995 km/h ( mph)
Long Beach Track


1976 -1983


3.25 km (1st 6 years) (miles) N. Piquet, Brabham BT 49 – (1980) – 1’19.83″ 146.6 km/h (mph)
Phoenix Track


1989 – 1991 3.798 km (first 2 races) (miles) G. Berger, McLaren MP4-5B – (1990) – 1’31.050″ 150.168 km/h (mph)
Riverside Track


1960 5.27 km ( miles) J. Brabham, Cooper/Climax – (1960) – 1’56.3″ 163.1 km/h (mph)
Sebring Track


1959 8.368km (miles) M. Trintignant, Cooper/Climax – (1959) – 3’5.0″ 162.8 kph (mph)
Watkins Glen Track


1961 – 1980 5.435 km (1970 on) (miles) A. Jones, Williams FW07B – (1980) -1’34.068″ 207.998 km/h ( mph)
Indianapolis F1 Track


2000–2007 2.605-mile 18.258 seconds, Michael Schumacher over Kimi Raikkonen, 2003

Final Words

Formula One has evolved over the years, but it’s still the pinnacle of motor racing, and the competitive edge between drivers has not dulled an inch. Thanks to the technological advances that come with each new season, Formula One continues to enthrall and amaze, and a trip to a race is one of the most exciting ways to spend a day—or three.