Corners are the building blocks of a racing circuit. A corner may be a chicane, an ‘Ess’, a hairpin, a kink, a banking or just a simple turn. Today I am going to share my 10 favorite corners of Formula One.
Imola Chicane- Magny Cours
Magny Cours is a fast flowing racetrack in central France which formerly hosted the French Grand Prix. Although it doesn’t appear on the F1 calender, one of it’s corners is well remembered. That one is the Imola chicane. It is much faster than most chicanes and a slight elevation change adds the icing on the cake.
Turn 13 and Turn 14- Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a very exciting racetrack located in Montreal, Canada. One of the many things that make it exciting is the final chicane of the track or Turn 13 and Turn 14. After a long straight, drivers brake hard and shed more than 200 km/h before the apex of Turn 13. This corner is the track’s main overtaking spot. If the apex is missed, there is a run off ahead but it significantly slows the car down. At the end of Turn 14 resides the ‘Wall Of Champions’ where in 1999, three former world champions crashed.
Monza has some of the best corners in the world like the two Lesmos, Variante Ascari and the Curva Grande but none of them beat the famous Parabolica curve; the last corner of the temple of speed. This banked corner is flat out and drivers have to push hard to get the apex right. But pushing too hard also has it’s consequences. A few meters away from the kerbs is a big gravel trap which massively slows the car down. The cars enter the curve after braking with a speed of 165km/h and exit it at 265km/h. That’s quite a lot of speed gained in one corner!
Turn 8- Istanbul Park
It is considered as one of the best and most technical tracks of Formula One. One of the major reasons for this is the highly challenging Turn 8; the main highlight of this track. This left-hander has four apexes in one which makes it tough for drivers. They must manage to get all four apexes correctly. If not taken properly, like many drivers, the runoff is where you’ll be. Amazingly, 40% of the energy applied on the tyres during a lap is exerted here!
Tabac/Piscine Complex- Monaco
Monaco is the most challenging track in Formula One’s history. Renowned corners such as St. Devote, Casino Square, Mirabeau, the Hairpin and more make up the narrow but fast circuit. Out of the 19 corners, my favorite is the Tabac/Piscine Complex. Shortly after the Harbor chicane, drivers go flat out at Tabac into the swimming pool complex. At a very high speed, drivers go left-right and almost immediately right-left, exiting the Piscine and into La Rascasse. In the backdrop is the beautiful Port Hercule with more than 500 boats on its banks.
Turn 1- Austin
Turn 1 at the Circuit Of The Americas is amazing. At the end of the home straight drivers climb 30.9 meters up the hill to brake hard and take the hairpin. It has multiple lines and getting it perfect is a really tough job. Drivers often turn too early and also too late, resulting in the corner being taken slowly. 85% of the car’s downforce is lost as they climb up the hill resulting in extensive loss of grip. Another fun part is that after the hairpin, drivers immediately go downhill into the fast,flowing ‘Esses’.
Campsa – Catalunya
Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya is a challenging circuit located in the Calatan province of Spain. The most highly regarded corner of this track is Turn 9 or Campsa. It is a flat out right-hander taken at a speed of 200km/h as drivers head slightly up the hill. This corner is blind and requires sheer bravery from the driver.
130R – Suzuka
Suzuka is loved by drivers and fans alike thanks to its tricky corners like the ‘Esses’, Dunlop Curve, the two Degners, the Spoon Curve and above all 130R. After the spoon curve and the long back straight, drivers take a flat out left at a speed of 308km/h and 3.1 Lateral Gs are applied on the driver. After this extremely quick left-hander comes the famous chicane where in 1989 Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost collided, creating one of the most iconic moments in F1 history.
Maggots/Becketts/Chapel – Silverstone
Silverstone is one of the drivers’ favorite racetracks as it is fast and has a lot of change in direction. One particular complex that the drivers love is the Maggots/Becketts/Chapel Complex. Drivers go left-right-left-right-left with a speed of over 250km/h. Upto 4.2 Lateral Gs are applied on the driver as he turns his car around those corners.
Eau Rouge/Radillon – Spa Francochamps
This is the undisputed king of all the corners. Eau Rouge/Radillon is a flat out corner where at the speed of 300km/h, drivers go left-right-left as they go uphill. Drivers experience 4.4 Lateral Gs as they climb 480m. That is equivalent to a 12 storey building! Radillon is blind, which means that drivers have to anticipate it and turn at the right time. If not taken correctly, like Kevin Magnussen, you will have a really huge crash. Overtaking at Eau Rouge takes great amount of courage and skill as there is only one line leading upwards and drivers have to commit themselves as late as possible. One example of a move at Eau Rouge was in 2011 when Mark Webber commited very late and overtook Alonso in what is regarded as one of the best overtaking manouvres in F1 history.
Is There Any Corner That You Think Should’ve Been On The List? Your Views Are Always Welcome!
Note: The Corners Are Not Ranked According To Their Order Of Appearance