There have been over 1,000 Formula 1 Grands Prix held since 1950 but, as of the start of the 2020 season, there have been only five occasions where consecutive races have been held in the same country. We take a look back at the stories of those races.
🇮🇹 Italy, 1957
The first time that Formula 1 hosted two consecutive races in the same country – and the first time that there were two Formula 1 races in the same country in one season – was in 1957. Italy was the destination for the final two rounds of the Drivers’ Championship that year. This was because both the Belgian and Dutch Grands Prix had been cancelled due to financial disputes. The first race in Italy for 1957 saw the drivers race at Pescara for the first and only time in the sport’s history. The Pescara circuit is the longest on which F1 has ever raced, at a whopping sixteen miles long. It was deemed so dangerous that Enzo Ferrari refused to send his drivers. Some of the drivers had never driven on the track before and, with little time to learn the circuit, the leaders qualified over 20 seconds faster than the backmarkers. One man who did have previous experience of the track was Stirling Moss, who won with three minutes to spare ahead of Juan Manuel Fangio. Moss even had time to stop for a drink during the race.
F1 then headed to Monza three weeks later for the season-closing Italian Grand Prix and it was a familiar result, with Moss once again finishing ahead of Fangio. Moss’ efforts in the latter stages of the 1957 Drivers’ Championship were fruitless, as Fangio had already wrapped the title up at the German Grand Prix back in August. This was the final time that Monza hosted the last race of a Formula 1 season.
🇺🇸 USA, 1980-1981
It would be over twenty years before the next two consecutive races were held in the same country. This time, it happened in America. The United States Grand Prix was held at Watkins Glen for the final time at the end of the 1980. While Bruno Giacomelli took the only pole of his F1 career at this race, Alan Jones signed off from his title-winning season in style with victory. After a five month winter break, the sport was back in America for the opening round of 1981, with the United States Grand Prix West at Long Beach. Jones won this race too.
It should be noted that between these two races, the non-championship South African Grand Prix took place. This round was originally a round of the World Championship, but a dispute between the governing body FISA and the Formula One Constructors’ Association meant that the race did not hold championship status.
🇺🇸 USA, 1984
The USA is the only country which has hosted consecutive Formula 1 races twice. The second time it happened was during the 1984 season. Though the last Watkins Glen race at the end of 1980 was the last United States Grand Prix for nine years, the sport did not stop racing in the country, and did so under different race titles. Among them were the United States West Grand Prix, the Caesar’s Palace Grand Prix, the Detroit Grand Prix and the Dallas Grand Prix. In 1984, the latter two races were held back to back.
Nelson Piquet took victory in Detroit in a race which only six cars finished. Martin Brundle finished an impressive second for Tyrrell, but was later disqualified for making an illegal pit stop. Two weeks later, Formula 1 was in action in Dallas in what turned out to be the only Dallas Grand Prix ever held. In the searing heat, Keke Rosberg took the win – making this the only time so far that two consecutive races in the same country have not had the same winner. Not only did the drivers have to contend with the heat, they also had to deal with a track that was crumbling up. It all proved too much for Nigel Mansell, who fainted while trying to push his car across the finish line.
🇯🇵 Japan, 1995
The most recent time that two consecutive races have been held in the same country during a single season was in Japan in 1995. The Pacific Grand Prix had been scheduled to take place as the third round of the season in April, but the Great Hanshin earthquake brought damage to the circuit’s surrounding area and the event was pushed back by six months. When the event eventually happened in October, as the fifteenth round of the year, Michael Schumacher confirmed his status as a double World Champion by taking victory. Formula 1 stayed in Japan for the next round, as the teams and drivers headed to Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix. Schumacher was victorious once again, and this was his last victory for Benetton before moving to Ferrari at the start of 1996.
🇦🇺 Australia, 1995-1996
Until 2020, the last time Formula 1 hosted two consecutive races in the same country was at the end of the 1995 – and start of the 1996 – season. Strangely, this pair of races immediately followed the 1995 Pacific and Japanese Grands Prix, both held in Japan. Adelaide hosted the season finale in 1995, and attracted a record crowd of 210,000 fans who were there to witness Formula 1’s farewell to the city. Damon Hill won the race by over two laps – one of only two times in F1 history that a Grand Prix has been won by such a margin. With the sport’s farewell to Adelaide and the 1995 season over, the circus returned to Australia four months later for the first race of 1996. It’s the only time in Formula 1 history that there have been two consecutive races with the same title. The Australian Grand Prix moved home to Albert Park in Melbourne for 1996, and Hill opened his title-winning campaign with another victory Down Under.
🇦🇹 Austria, 2020
At the start of the 2020 season, the Red Bull Ring will become the first circuit to host Formula 1 races at the same venue for two consecutive rounds of the championship. The Austrian Grand Prix will take place on 5th July and will be followed one week later by the Steiermark Grand Prix.
🇬🇧 Britain, 2020
Silverstone is also set to host two consecutive Grands Prix in the 2020 season, with the British Grand Prix on 2nd August and the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix being held on the following weekend.
After graduating from the University of Hull in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its fifth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and GPDestinations. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.