Formula 1 can be defined as the art of cornering. Anyone can plant their foot on the loud pedal and hurtle down a straight, but the true brilliance of grand prix drivers is demonstrated in their ability to skilfully navigate the world’s most challenging curves. With well over a thousand to choose from picking the best is no easy task, but the five below are undoubtedly among the most iconic in grand prix racing.
130R – Suzuka, Japan
As corners go, a flat out 90-degree left-hander with a giant Ferris Wheel in the background is difficult to top. Situated towards the end of the incredible Suzuka circuit, home of the Japanese Grand Prix, 130R is often spoken of by drivers as the ultimate in F1 cornering experiences. It has also seen its fair share of almighty shunts: Toyota’s Allan McNish came a cropper there in 2002, spearing across the track and through the Armco barrier.
Pouhon – Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
Eau Rouge is often vaunted as Spa's best corner, but the thinking man's choice at the Belgian circuit is Pouhon, a high-speed left-hander that slopes downhill. Truly terrifying when it rains – and it regularly does at Spa – Pouhon is a sight to behold when 20-odd grand prix cars are rushing through it during the opening laps. Along with Eau Rouge, honourable mentions must also go to Blanchimont and Stavelot. Spa’s collection of incredible corners goes a long way to explaining why many considered it to be the finest circuit in F1
Maggots/Becketts – Silverstone, Great Britain
The ultra fast double left-right of Maggotts and Becketts represents the most awe-inspiring sequence at British Grand Prix venue Silverstone. Taken at top speed and with very little throttle lift, the sight of cars seemingly sliding through these corners in a blur sums up the appeal of Formula 1. What’s more, it’s crucial for drivers to get spot-on as the long Hanger Straight and Stowe Corner follow, meaning a poor exit could result in lost positions.
Senna S – Interlagos, Brazil
Though not necessarily a supreme challenge, the Senna ‘S’ at Interlagos ranks among the most iconic corners in F1. A steep downhill slalom of a chicane, it's a prime overtaking spot that has witnessed plenty of unforgettable duels down the years. With the venue’s main grandstand hanging overhead it’s also pretty noisy, while being named after one of the sport's greatest heroes – who famously won at the circuit in ’91 and ’93 – does a lot for its street cred.
Tabac – Monaco
The most famous grand prix venue of them all, Monaco has its fair share of memorable corners. Sainte Devote is often the scene of first lap chaos, while Nouvelle Chicane is both visually stunning and a prime overtaking spot, but for sheer edge-of-your-seat thrills look no further than turn 12, better known as Tabac. A blind 90-degree left with zero run-off, when a driver gets this one wrong a very heavy impact with the wall awaits. Not for the faint hearted, and essential to judge perfectly on a qualifying lap.
What do you think? What is the best corner for you?