In Formula 1 history, there have been 73 rounds of the World Championship which have not been held on a Sunday. That will become 74 with the addition of the Las Vegas Grand Prix in 2023. Which other races were not held on a Sunday – and why?
THE LAST F1 RACE NOT HELD ON A SUNDAY
The last F1 race which did not take place on a Sunday was the 1985 South African Grand Prix, which took place on a Saturday. The South African Grand Prix was traditionally held on a Saturday, with a few exceptions. The Kyalami race did not take place on a Sunday until 1992, with the final two races at Kyalami in 1992 and 1993 falling into line with other Grands Prix on the calendar.
THE LAST F1 RACE NOT HELD ON A WEEKEND
The 1972 Spanish Grand Prix was the last race which was not held on a weekend. The race, held at Jamara, took place on a Monday, with opening practice taking place on Saturday. The 1972 Spanish Grand Prix is one of nine World Championship events which took place on a Monday.
Three of the other races which were held on a Monday were the Indianapolis 500 – in 1954, 1955 and 1958. The race was a round of the World Championship between 1950 and 1960, though it was not run to Formula 1 regulations. The Dutch Grand Prix was also held on a Monday in 1958, 1960 and 1961. These races coincided with Whit Monday, which was a public holiday in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, the South African Grand Prix took place on a Monday in both 1967 and 1968.
F1 RACES HELD ON SATURDAY
The 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix will become the first race in almost 40 years to not take place on a Sunday. The previous two races held in Las Vegas – the 1981 and 1982 Caesars Palace Grands Prix – also took place on Saturdays. The majority of Formula 1 races which were not held on a Sunday have taken place on a Saturday, with 57 races taking place on Saturdays.
In fact, the very first round of the World Championship – the 1950 British Grand Prix – took place on Saturday 13th May. Saturday was the day on which every British Grand Prix until 1976 was held. From 1976, the British Grands Prix which were held at Brands Hatch (in 1976, 1978, 1980 and 1982) switched to Sunday, while the Silverstone events continued to be run on Saturdays. The 1983 British Grand Prix was the last British race to be held on a Saturday.
The South African Grand Prix was never held on a Sunday for any of its World Championship appearances until 1992. In addition, the Indianapolis 500 was held on a Saturday in 1953 and 1959, while the 1959 United States Grand Prix – the only F1 race which was held at Sebring International Raceway in Florida – also took place on Saturday.
Four other races were held on a Saturday: the 1969 and 1982 Dutch Grands Prix, the 1969 Canadian Grand Prix and the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix. Generally, races were held on a Saturday in hopes of attracting larger crowds. This was especially the case at the 1982 Zandvoort race, which was held on a Saturday to avoid a TV clash with 1982 FIFA World Cup football matches and the Wimbledon finals.
F1 RACES HELD ON OTHER DAYS OF THE WEEK
In total, there have been only seven rounds of the World Championship which took place on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. Six of those were the Indianpolis 500 in 1950 (Tuesday), 1951 & 1956 (Wednesday), 1957 (Thursday) and 1952 & 1958 (Friday).
The only World Championship Grand Prix which did not take place on a Saturday, Sunday or Monday was the 1965 South African Grand Prix, which took place on New Year’s Day in 1965, which fell on a Friday. With practice beginning on the Wednesday, it is one of few World Championship meetings which spanned two different years. The 1967 and 1968 South African races are also in the same club.
FULL LIST OF F1 RACES WHICH DID NOT TAKE PLACE ON A SUNDAY
Below is a full list of World Championship F1 races which did not take place on a Sunday. The list includes the Indianapolis 500, when it was held as a round of the World Championship between 1950 and 1960.
|Race||Track||Day of Grand Prix|
|1950 British Grand Prix||Silverstone||Saturday|
|1950 Indianapolis 500||Indianapolis Motor Speedway||Tuesday|
|1951 Indianapolis 500||Indianapolis Motor Speedway||Wednesday|
|1951 British Grand Prix||Silverstone||Saturday|
|1952 Indianapolis 500||Indianapolis Motor Speedway||Friday|
|1952 British Grand Prix||Silverstone||Saturday|
|1953 Indianapolis 500||Indianapolis Motor Speedway||Saturday|
|1953 British Grand Prix||Silverstone||Saturday|
|1954 Indianapolis 500||Indianapolis Motor Speedway||Monday|
|1954 British Grand Prix||Silverstone||Saturday|
|1955 Indianapolis 500||Indianapolis Motor Speedway||Monday|
|1955 British Grand Prix||Aintree||Saturday|
|1956 Indianapolis 500||Indianapolis Motor Speedway||Wednesday|
|1956 British Grand Prix||Silverstone||Saturday|
|1957 Indianapolis 500||Indianapolis Motor Speedway||Thursday|
|1957 British Grand Prix||Aintree||Saturday|
|1958 Dutch Grand Prix||Zandvoort||Monday|
|1958 Indianapolis 500||Indianapolis Motor Speedway||Friday|
|1958 British Grand Prix||Silverstone||Saturday|
|1959 Indianapolis 500||Indianapolis Motor Speedway||Saturday|
|1959 British Grand Prix||Aintree||Saturday|
|1959 US Grand Prix||Sebring||Saturday|
|1960 Indianapolis 500||Indianapolis Motor Speedway||Monday|
|1960 Dutch Grand Prix||Zandvoort||Monday|
|1960 British Grand Prix||Silverstone||Saturday|
|1961 Dutch Grand Prix||Zandvoort||Monday|
|1961 British Grand Prix||Aintree||Saturday|
|1962 British Grand Prix||Aintree||Saturday|
|1962 South African Grand Prix||Prince George Circuit||Saturday|
|1963 British Grand Prix||Silverstone||Saturday|
|1963 South African Grand Prix||Prince George Circuit||Saturday|
|1964 British Grand Prix||Brands Hatch||Saturday|
|1965 South African Grand Prix||Prince George Circuit||Friday|
|1965 British Grand Prix||Silverstone||Saturday|
|1966 British Grand Prix||Brands Hatch||Saturday|
|1967 South African Grand Prix||Kyalami||Monday|
|1967 British Grand Prix||Silverstone||Saturday|
|1968 South African Grand Prix||Kyalami||Monday|
|1968 British Grand Prix||Brands Hatch||Saturday|
|1969 South African Grand Prix||Kyalami||Saturday|
|1969 Dutch Grand Prix||Zandvoort||Saturday|
|1969 British Grand Prix||Silverstone||Saturday|
|1969 Canadian Grand Prix||Mosport Park||Saturday|
|1970 South African Grand Prix||Kyalami||Saturday|
|1970 British Grand Prix||Brands Hatch||Saturday|
|1971 South African Grand Prix||Kyalami||Saturday|
|1971 British Grand Prix||Silverstone||Saturday|
|1972 South African Grand Prix||Kyalami||Saturday|
|1972 Spanish Grand Prix||Jamara||Monday|
|1972 British Grand Prix||Brands Hatch||Saturday|
|1973 South African Grand Prix||Kyalami||Saturday|
|1973 British Grand Prix||Silverstone||Saturday|
|1974 South African Grand Prix||Kyalami||Saturday|
|1974 British Grand Prix||Brands Hatch||Saturday|
|1975 South African Grand Prix||Kyalami||Saturday|
|1975 British Grand Prix||Silverstone||Saturday|
|1976 South African Grand Prix||Kyalami||Saturday|
|1977 South African Grand Prix||Kyalami||Saturday|
|1977 British Grand Prix||Silverstone||Saturday|
|1978 South African Grand Prix||Kyalami||Saturday|
|1978 Swedish Grand Prix||Anderstorp||Saturday|
|1979 South African Grand Prix||Kyalami||Saturday|
|1979 British Grand Prix||Silverstone||Saturday|
|1980 South African Grand Prix||Kyalami||Saturday|
|1981 British Grand Prix||Silverstone||Saturday|
|1981 Caesars Palace Grand Prix||Caesars Palace||Saturday|
|1982 South African Grand Prix||Kyalami||Saturday|
|1982 Dutch Grand Prix||Zandvoort||Saturday|
|1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix||Caesars Palace||Saturday|
|1983 British Grand Prix||Silverstone||Saturday|
|1983 South African Grand Prix||Kyalami||Saturday|
|1984 South African Grand Prix||Kyalami||Saturday|
|1985 South African Grand Prix||Kyalami||Saturday|
|2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix||Las Vegas Street Circuit||Saturday|
After graduating 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. 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 Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.