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Formula 1 circuits are very famous for their breathtaking corners. Corners where the cars can approach at more than 340 kmph and brake to 100 kmph in a split second, causing huge lateral forces to act on the driver.

Also, there are corners which are so tight high speed is impossible but drivers must fully commit as the exit leads to long straights.

It takes great courage and precision to master these curves. The tiniest error will lead to ruined lap times or possible overtakes by other drivers.

I have compiled my list of the ten most scintillating and important corners of the F1 Calendar and they are shown in the traditional reverse order. In this article I look at corners 10 through to 6.

As a postscript, I have also listed some famous corners from yesteryear which are no longer part of the calendar.

10. Turns 1 and 2 Shanghai

Where?

Turn 1 and 2 of Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai

Shanghai F1 Circuit map

By Will Pittenger (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Speciality?

Formed after the Yin Yang symbol which means two opposite forces.

Shanghai circuit turns 1 and 2

Why is it in my list?

The layout of Turn 1 and 2 depicts the symbol of Yin Yang and is a very long slow right-hander after the main straight. The track forces the driver to effectively tease the throttle and steering. Towards the centre the spot is almost blind. It is very hard to identify a proper braking point here and it is extremely difficult to find the optimum place to push the throttle. The key to mastering these turns is to enter the curve with a proper line and follow around so as to make proper exits to Turn 5 which is a long straight.

9. Wall of Champions

Where?

Turn 14 of Circuit Gilles Villenevue, Canada after long Casino Straight

Gilles Villeneuve Canada F1 circuit map

By Île Notre-Dame (Circuit Gilles Villeneuve).svg: Will Pittenger derivative work: — cBuckley (Talk • Contribs) (Île Notre-Dame (Circuit Gilles Villeneuve).svg) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Famous events?

As the name suggests this curve’s main feature is the close barricade which has consumed the following world champions:
1) Damon Hill
2) Michael Schumacher
3) Jack Villenevue
4) Sebastian Vettel
5) Nico Rosberg
6) Jenson Button
7) Juan Pablo Montoya

Although Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg collided before they were crowned world champions they still merit mention.

Michael Schumacher meeting the wall of champions in 1999

Michael Schumacher 1999 Wall of Champions

Speciality?

A closely laid barricade. If the entrance/exit of the Turn 14 is compromised it will lead to a “kiss”.

Why is it in my list?

The name suggests the complexity of this turn. More than being a very difficult curve, this has become a demon which can drain a driver’s confidence as the barricades are so close.

Drivers enter the curve at top speed and following the left right chicane which is accompanied by the kerb. Drivers aiming for the most effective line should hit the kerb but without unsettling the car.

Like in Monaco there is no room for error as every apex missed means the loss of lap-time or the “kiss” of the Wall of Champions.

The chance of error is very high. For example,in 1999 three world champions- Jacques Villeneuve, Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher kissed the Wall of Champions

8. Turn 4, Sochi

Where?

Turn 4 of Sochi Autodromo, Russia

Famous events?

Daniil Kvyat hitting Sebastian Vettel during the 2016 GP.

Speciality?

Signature left handed corner overseeing the Sochi Winter Olympics stadium causing high load on tyres.

Sochi Circuit

Photo: sochiautodrom.ru

Why is it in my list?

789 metres long and 13 metres wide, Turn 4 of Sochi Autodromo is a Herman Tilke masterpiece. It takes the F1 cars around 9 seconds to navigate through the corner which is 161 degrees. Drivers experience the lateral G-force of around 3G for almost 7 seconds. The speciality of this curve is there are variety of lines and approaches. Throttles are full and the cars move to 7th gear after the slow Turn 2.

The 2016 Russian GP saw Daniil Kvyat hit Sebastian Vettel in the rear while moving around Turn 3. The corner is famously described as the balance between conserving the tyre and being as fast as possible.

7. Maggots/Becketts

Where?

Turns 10 through 14 from right hander Copse till Hangar Straight of Silverstone Circuit, Great Britain

Silverstone F1 Circuit map

By AlexJ (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Famous events?

Countless. Last year’s Verstappen’s pass of Nico Rosberg was a rare scene as overtaking is not that common around here.

Silverstone Circuit Maggots Becketts

By Ben Sutherland (Flickr: DSC_0399) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Why is it in my list?

Silverstone is one of the most iconic circuits on the F1 calendar and is very hard on engines. Formula 1 fans like me will be terribly sad to see Silverstone removed from the calendar from 2019 onwards.

Although the track layout may have changed substantially over the years, the Maggots-Becketts-Chapel sequence is still one of the greatest places in the world where the multi-million dollars engineering masterpieces run.

The high speed entry followed by the left and right turns reduce the speed to almost the half of entering speed when cars exit towards the Hangar Straight.

The driver’s challenge is to maintain the speed and absolutely perfect the turns as they will be greeted with 2nd DRS zone. These sequences are very important to pull of the magnificent laps like Lewis Hamilton.

Silverstone’s sequence of Maggets-Becketts-Chapel is said to be the inspiration to many curves around the world. The Circuit of the Americas sequence of high speed left-right-left is inspired by this legendary circuit.

This year’s bigger and faster cars passing the sequence absolutely flat was an absolute pleasure to watch.

6. S do Senna

Where?

Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, Brazil

Turn Number 2 before 3 which leads to Reta Oposta long straight

Interlagos Brazil f1 circuit map

By Ch1902 (Formula1.com map) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Famous events?

Schumacher being passed by Montoya 2001

S do Senna Interlagos

Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/coelhovoador/

Speciality?

The sequence of turns with different lengths with kerbs and angles means the Brazilian GP gets the best possible start to an F1 race.

Why is it in my list?

For me this is the best possible start of a GP. The S do Senna sequence is named after one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers of all time, Ayrton Senna.

Drivers should find the perfect line so as to manoeuvre their cars moving at around 300 kmph at the Main straight to the swerving curves before the Reta Oposta Long straight.

The reduction in speed is more than 200 kmph and the G-force experienced is literally neck-breaking. I am dying to see how the faster cars of 2017 behave around S do Senna.

The slow corner is a famous venue of many famous passes – Juan Pablo Montoya’s famous pass on Michael Schumacher is worth the watch and equally entertaining is Max Verstappen’s famous rain dance during the last year’s Brazilian GP. Don the cap of bravery, skill and speed, everyone can perfect the Senna S.

The Turn 1-3 sequence forms an S which might be a serious issue if the braking zone is not spotted. The left hand turn is followed by quick left-right is very hard to master but very important for maintaining speed and avoiding passes.

Even the talented Alain Prost spun out of P1 in the rain of 1993 and was the venue of collision of Schumacher and Bruno Senna.

My top five corners to follow soon. Meanwhile…….

Some Blasts from the Past

For many reasons a number of famous tracks are not in the scene now. I have collated the information based on experiences of many F1 experts and supporters.

Following are the five most famous corners which are not raced by Formula 1 cars these days:

a) Turn 8 of Intercity Istanbul Park,
b) Rivazz Uno of Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari,
c) Paddock Hill Bend of Brands Hatch
d) 180 degrees of Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours
e) 300R of Fuji Speedway