7

With the announcement of three new F1 races in Europe during October and early November, there's been a lot of discussion about the potential for those races to be unusually cold - especially the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, where there's a real risk of snow at that time of year.

That got me thinking. I know of plenty of races that have been extremely hot - Argentina 1955 and Dallas 1984 are the ones that come to mind immediately. But I don't know of any races that have been held in low temperatures (say, less than 10°C). I do know there were a few races held in Sweden, but I haven't found any mention of what the weather was like at those races.

What was the coldest Formula One race on record?

  • The Anderstorp (Swedish) race, from 73 to 78, happened in June, so it was quite warm. – Gerardo Furtado Jul 28 at 1:01
  • 1
    As if Argentina didn't have enough to contend with in '55 – Strawberry Jul 28 at 13:09
4

First of all, it's important to define "coldest". I believe you're talking about air temperature, despite the fact that the real problem for a F1 car is the track temperature, which is different.

Regarding tests, which are normally carried out during northern hemisphere winter, it's not uncommon having snow in the track. For instance, check this 1986 test, see the snow on the ground:

https://youtu.be/7RCdRKkt4ds?t=1723

Regarding a F1 race it's quite complicated finding accurate data for the 50s and 60s, but I'd bet on this 1975 Race of Champions, whose start was delayed due to snow:

Weather conditions were inhospitable, with strong winds, heavy rain and even snow showers during the weekend. [...] The start was delayed as snow fell and teams had to quickly decide which type of tyres to use.

Here is a clip of that race, have a look at people's clothes, it should've been very cold: https://youtu.be/CXvBJ6Y8zsA?t=5

Also, according to Wolfram Alpha, the highest temperature that day was 6°C:

enter image description here

It's worth mentioning that, despite not counting for points, the Race of Champions is a Formula 1 race.

| improve this answer | |
  • Yeah, I meant in terms of air temperature, I didn't think there'd be accurate track temperature data for many of the older races. The '75 Race of Champions looks like a pretty good bet, but I'll wait to see if anything else turns up. – F1Krazy Jul 28 at 7:12
  • 1
    @F1Krazy I just found that temperature that day was between 1 and 6°C, that will be pretty hard to beat. – Gerardo Furtado Jul 28 at 9:04
4

Whilst Gerardo Furtado's answer covers what may be the coldest race, it is not a World Championship race, which I feel may be an important distinction to some people.

According to a list of race records on Wikipedia, the coldest World Championship race was the 1978 Canadian Grand Prix - which had a highest temperature of 5°C (41°F) during the race.

Temperature for Montreal on race-day

Temperature data for Montreal - 1978-10-08 I believe the sudden drops are missing data points rather than it suddenly plummeting to 0°C

BBC Highlights of the race

| improve this answer | |
  • Wow, didn't realise Wikipedia already had this covered. Good find. – F1Krazy Jul 28 at 10:11
  • Great find, that's probably just as cold as the one I mentioned, with the very important difference that this one was a championship race. – Gerardo Furtado Jul 28 at 11:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.