Ranked: The 10 most dangerous corners on the F1 calendar

Henry Valantine
Max Verstappen takes Eau Rouge in his Red Bull. F1 Spa-Francorchamps August 2022.

Max Verstappen takes Eau Rouge in his Red Bull during FP2 for the Belgian Grand Prix. Spa-Francorchamps August 2022.

F1 presents a whole heap of challenges for the drivers at every circuit, from precision to endurance and everything in between.

One common thread throughout every circuit, however, is an element of bravery – and we’ve collated what we believe to be the 10 most dangerous corners remaining in F1 today.

Of course, safety improvements have brought about the neutering or outright removal of some corners over the years that could have featured highly on this list (the infamous three-apex ‘Singapore Sling’ being a prime example), but here is our rundown of some of the most fearsome that the sport has to offer to this day.

10: Turns 14/15, Miami, United States

A new entry onto the Formula 1 calendar in 2022, the slow Turn 14/15 chicane in Miami immediately drew criticism from the drivers on safety grounds because of the way the corners were put together.

While dangerous in its own right, what is dangerous about the left-right flick saw the exit of the corner make the drivers go over a blind crest before heading downhill, and their natural course take them towards a wall on the exit without any barriers in place.

The circuit’s designers admitted this configuration was necessary so the cars could thread underneath the Florida Turnpike and, while the track was resurfaced for 2023, the troublesome chicane remained.

9: Turn 14, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain

In a striking resemblance to another corner further up this list, the final corner at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was restored to its former glory in 2023 when Formula 1 opted to return to the circuit’s original layout.

Gone is the slow, fiddly chicane that preceded it for 15 years, and back is the swooping right-hander that plunges downhill before the high-speed, high G-force right-hander that finishes the lap.

Be warned, however, that the cars easily top 150-160mph in this corner and anyone going even slightly wide on the exit will have the gravel to contend with, making any mistake punishable with a possible retirement – and a high-speed one at that.

8: Curva Parabolica, Monza, Italy

Parabolica curve at Monza, home of the Italian GP
General view of the Parabolica curve at Monza, home of the Italian Grand Prix

The Temple of Speed has several key flashpoints on the lap that have caught out many a driver over the years, and while its final corner, Parabolica, has been tempered by the addition of a run-off area in recent years (costing it a higher place on this list), though big driving challenge remains.

Entering the braking zone at over 200mph, the drivers have to take off as little speed as they dare as they throw their car into this long right-hander, and any understeer used to be punished with a swift trip into the gravel – but a lap time deletion is still a punishment in itself, especially in qualifying.

Nonetheless, any big errors could see drivers out of action in an instant at Monza, and Parabolica presents arguably the biggest moment of bravery in the lap at the highest-speed circuit on the F1 calendar.

7: 130R, Suzuka, Japan

A flat-out left-hander that would lead to a trip to the barriers if anything went wrong – what else is there to say about the fearsome 130R corner at Suzuka?

It’s one of the most famous corners at an iconic F1 circuit, host to possibly one of the most famous overtakes in the sport’s history when Fernando Alonso bravely overtook Michael Schumacher around the outside there at more than 180mph in 2005 – and perhaps simultaneously represented a handing over of the baton to the next generation.

6: Turns 8/9/10, Baku City Circuit, Azerbaijan

Sergio Perez through the castle section. Baku June 2022
Red Bull driver Sergio Perez through the castle section. Baku June 2022

Yes, the scenic route into the Old City of Baku actually takes F1 into its narrowest point of the season, an even tighter squeeze than anything Monaco has to offer, at only 7.6 metres wide.

The left-hander into Turn 8 is deceptively quick before a squeeze of throttle through the incredibly brisk Turns 9 and 10, before the right-hander of 11 opens the track out again.

Not the quickest corner on this list, but certainly one of the most treacherous – and many drivers have come a cropper here in Formula 1’s visits to Baku, either through piling into the barriers or missing the corner entirely and heading to the escape road.

5: Turns 13/14, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Canada

The Wall of Champions at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal.
The Wall of Champions at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal.

You wouldn’t think we’d talk about dangerous F1 corners and not talk about the ‘Wall of Champions’ at some point, would you?

The medium-speed chicane to round off the lap at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is harmless enough, but like the exit of the chicane in Miami, it’s what awaits the drivers after they turn that hosts the danger.

The ‘Wall of Champions’ got its name after three different World Champions crashed into the wall on the exit at the 1999 Canadian Grand Prix, making precision a key component of the final corners in Montreal – though apex speed is equally important for a strong lap time.

Go as close as you dare, because the nearer you are to the wall, the faster you’re likely to be going, leaving a big balancing act for F1 drivers every year.

4: Piscine (‘Swimming Pool’), Circuit de Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc crashes during qualifying for the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix. Monte Carlo, May 2021.
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc crashes during qualifying for the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix. Monte Carlo, May 2021.

In truth, a host of corners from Monaco could have made our list here, purely for how tightly-confined the circuit remains and the danger that literally lies around every turn.

We opted for the Swimming Pool section however, because after the run out of Tabac comes the swift left-right chicane that completes the first part of the complex – daunting enough on its own with a requirement to run as close as you can to the barrier on both sides of the track.

After that, though, is another right-left flick that has caught out many a driver in the past, with the drivers often only centimetres, or millimetres, away from trouble on the inside apex as they look to open out the left-hander and get back on the power, with plenty of drivers having clonked the barriers on turn-in by going just slightly too early.

There’s danger, there’s a thrill, there’s both high and low speed – a bit of everything. What’s not to love?

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3: Copse, Silverstone, Great Britain

Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton at the 2021 British Grand Prix. Silverstone, June 2021.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton at the 2021 British Grand Prix.

A 180mph thrill ride for the drivers when they get it right, but a guaranteed trip to the barriers when they get it wrong.

Copse Corner is not only one of the fastest corners on the F1 calendar, boasting some of the highest G-forces the drivers will experience all season, but one of the oldest – one of several corners from the original Silverstone layout in the first ever Formula 1 Grand Prix back in 1950.

Don’t let that lull drivers into a false sense of security however, because there are consequences for anyone who makes a mistake through there, and contact can lead to huge crashes – with Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s clash of wheels in 2021 at that corner being a huge moment that left the Red Bull driver requiring a trip to the hospital for medical checks.

2: Eau Rouge/Raidillon, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium

A sodden Eau Rouge at Spa-Francorchamps. Belgian GP July 2023.
Rain falls on an already wet track surface at Eau Rouge ahead of the weekend. Spa-Francorchamps July 2023.

While some critics of moves to make Eau Rouge safer over the years now see the corner as a flat-out left-right kink in a Formula 1 car, the reality of it is still stark to any mere mortal.

The sheer scale of the cliff-face-esque rise up the hill is stark enough as it is, and as On Track GP’s Richard Bradley pointed out in his in-depth Spa track guide, when the drivers are looking for the apex when the track goes left at Raidillon, all they can see is the sky, leaving an element of guesswork while they work out their reference points in the early laps of a weekend.

The tragic death of Anthoine Hubert in 2019 at that corner serves as a reminder not only of the ongoing dangers of motorsport, but of that corner itself.

1: Turns 21/22, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Trumping the lot on this list, however, is a new entry to the sport overall, but a chicane that has already struck fear into the drivers and caught several out, with high-speed consequences – as Charles Leclerc and Mick Schumacher both found out in 2021.

Turn 21 at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit is a blind entry left-hander, taken in sixth gear, with a wall on the left as a reminder of where track limits are, before a quick sweep to the right.

Changes were made to the chicane to make it a slower entry and slightly safer for 2023, with the walls moved back as well, but in terms of a driving challenge and danger, the risk involved in that left-right swoop is still huge.

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