Watkins Glen: F1's rock and roll years

    Story highlights

    • Watkins Glen hosted F1 from 1961-1980
    • Jackie Stewart won two US GP at the track
    • Circuit Of The Americas now hosts US GP

    (CNN)For Formula One drivers, Watkins Glen International was always a little off the beaten track.

    Tucked away in a tiny village on the southern tip of Seneca Lake in New York State, "The Glen," as it is affectionately known, was a world away from F1's ritzier race destinations of the 1960s and 1970s.
      While the likes of the Monaco GP is played out against a simmering, sultry Mediterranean backdrop, Watkins Glen offered a backdrop of Autumn's "mellow fruitfulness."
        "It was in the Finger Lakes, it was upstate New York, it was the fall -- so the glorious colors were all out ... it was a nice circuit, but it was rural America in the fullest sense and unlike all the places we would be traveling to, be it Monza (Italian Grand Prix) or Brazil," three-time F1 world champion Jackie Stewart told CNN.
        But what it lacked in glamor, it more than made up for in charm.
        "It was probably the most nostalgic US Grand Prix that Formula One ever had," added Stewart.
        Jackie Stewart (left) at Watkins Glen in 1972.

        'F1 is on hold'

        The F1 circus has long since moved on -- the last US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen was held 36 years ago -- but it remains a key part of F1's north American heritage which could yet be rekindled by the sport's new owners Liberty Media who may look to increase the reach of F1 in America where IndyCar and NASCAR series, in particular, reign.