Poll Turn One

Which circuit has the best Turn One of the year? (exc. Austin)

  • Melbourne

    Votes: 1 3.4%
  • Sepang

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Shanghai

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Sakhir

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Catalunya

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Monaco

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Montreal

    Votes: 1 3.4%
  • Valencia

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Silverstone

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Hockenheim

    Votes: 1 3.4%
  • Hungaroring

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Spa

    Votes: 4 13.8%
  • Monza

    Votes: 1 3.4%
  • Singapore

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Suzuka

    Votes: 5 17.2%
  • Yeongam

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Buddh

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yas Marina

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Interlagos

    Votes: 16 55.2%

  • Total voters


Valued Member
With Rick Perry talking to Martin Brundle on the grid about the wonderful turn one he says is being built at Austin, I thought I'd take a look at the other Turn Ones on the calendar.

1. Melbourne
The season doesn't start until 22 cars (thanks for that HRT) are bombing down to the first chicane at Melbourne. It is a rather unremarkable turn One, to be fair, although in 2002 it did see Ralf Schumacher cause one of the most ridiculous pile ups in recent F1 history - one that revealed that the massed pile-up would in future be dealt with by yellow rather than red flags. Traditionalists will love the gravel trap situated at the end of the straight though!

2. Sepang
Sepang has a 180°+ corner to get its lap underway and is thus extremely difficult to negotiate, although the task is made easier by the wideness of a typical Tilke corner. There is ample run-off as well. Overtaking wise, brazening around the outside is made possible by the positioning of the inside of Turn Two on the exit, and thus it is thankfully possible to go either way.

3. Shanghai
Shanghai's Turn One was dictated by the insane demand that the circuit look like a Chinese letter, and is really Sepang's Turn One just extended beyond the point of sense. Lewis Hamilton showed the way to overtake around there in 2011 with a Dan Dare move on his team-mate, but the most impressive and memorable parts of the Shanghai circuit exist at the other end.

4. Sakhir
The Bahrain circuit is rarely considered a classic, but Turn One does tend to outperform the rest of the layout. A slightly more than 90° left-hander, coupled with the usual Tilke staples of a huge run-off and a quick Turn Two in the other direction, it has produced plenty of action in the races we've seen at Bahrain not spoiled by the "endurance" layout. It wonderfully meets the criteria for being both exciting and safe.

5. Catalunya
Coming at the end of a massive DRS straight, Turn One underperforms as an overtaking opportunity because its outside line is so forbidding, meaning defending the inside earns you the corner so long as there isn't a massive speed differential. It comes off the longest starting straight on the calendar, so at least Lap One action is almost guaranteed, if thankfully not in the form of massive crashes.

6. Monaco
The Saint-Devote church is famous in the annals of F1 as the location for Turn One at Monaco. It is extremely tight, as Romain Grosjean found out this year, in keeping with the rest of the season. Its cobbled run-off area typically sees F1 machinery doing 180° turns to return to the race, usually having irretrievably let an opponent by. There was even some overtaking down there in 2011, although Pastor Maldonado might not share my excitement!

7. Montreal
As always with Montreal, Turn One is a bit weird. It comes after a small kink that would be numbered on a modern Tilke circuit, and is anti-clockwise on a clockwise circuit. Its grass verge has seen some spins and meltdowns over the years. However, its just about as far from the walls as its possible to get in Montreal; like Shanghai the back end of the circuit is where the real action takes place.

8. Valencia
Just about the only similarity to the most famous street circuit Turn One is that the pit lane runs down the inside. In sharp contrast, Turn One at Valencia is an uninspiring kink - almost a straight to an F1 car, which serves as an acceleration zone for anything interesting that does happen to happen down at Turn Two.

9. Silverstone
Abbey is a little slower than the old Turn One at Copse, and doesn't feature the same breathtaking camera angle. Again, the Turn One in the Northamptonshire countryside is more of a kink than a corner, and sets the tone for a circuit all about breathtaking changes of direction, designed to test the technical skills of the drivers.

10. Hockenheim
The calendar visits its third fast kink in a row, although the Nordkurve is tighter than either of the two openers that preceed it. It has remained from the traditional pre-Tilke Hockenheim. It leads rather nicely into the two tight corners (Two and Six) that make up the first half of the new Hockenheim course.

11. Hungaroring
Turn One in Budapest is unsurprisingly tight and slow. It is not quite a 180° hairpin, but it is close, and becomes so with a secondary kink half-way down the straight that the FIA have surprisingly labelled "1a". Turn One is the only overtaking opportunity at Budapest - and when I say that I generally mean on the First Lap!

12. Spa
Spa is full of awe-inspiring corners. Puhoon, Stavelot, Blanchimont and Eau Rouge. And its first corner. Well, how about a hairpin bend at the end of a short straight. It is extremely tight and seems to invite someone to collide with someone else - an invitation that Romain Grosjean did not refuse. Its run off area seems to prevent serious accident, but does allow Kimi Raikkonen, in particular, to avoid the action and get a good run off of Eau Rouge.

13. Monza
Since 1972, the chicanes have been an integral part of Monza. And the Retifillo is the most unique Turn One of the year. It is a tricky little chicane, which has two run-off areas for those who want to take on speed humps or polystyrene marker boards, and has been known to cause chaos if people get too close together. The inside line tends to be king down there, but if you keep level around the outside, the lead is yours!

14. Singapore
For a street circuit, Turn One at Singapore has a massive amount of run-off as evidenced by Mark Webber's "controlled detonation" with his brake problem in 2009. At the start, it is a typical Tilke turn which does little but delay the action to the upcoming Turn Three. In short, it does resemble Tilke's other 2008-09 streetish efforts in Abu Dhabi and Valencia.

15. Suzuka
Suzuka's Turn One resembles Copse at Silverstone, meanwhile. The exit is a braking zone for Turn Two, but no braking is required on entry. It is the first of the exceedingly technical section leading all the way up to the Degners (Turn Nine). It is, of course, the scene of Ayrton Senna's McLaren Missile impression of 1990, but is not a turn where you typically expect incident.

16. Yeongam
The most obvious thing about Yeongam's Turn One is that the pit exit feeds directly into it, which may not be the smartest idea ever. Again, it is a two parter with Turn Two, but it is a reasonably tight corner that may someday need the extensive run-off it is provided with. It is one of Tilke's better recent Turn Ones.

17. Buddh
It looks and feels like a Tilke Turn One. Its a 90° right-hander, surprisingly without the massive entry zones that saw so much chaos in the hairpins on the opening lap at Buddh last year. Last year it didn't really feature in any of the opening lap action, with the long straight after the not-too-far-away Turn Three providing the incident.

18. Yas Marina
It is a 90° turn. It only has one line, and is not far enough away from the grid. If you start on pole, you have a great chance of leading through there, although apparently its not always possible to get much further.

19. Interlagos
In my opinion, saving the best till last. Dipping down a hill into the natural bowl of the Interlagos circuit, with the immediate Turn Two that Hermann Tilke so admires. It is a place where overtaking can occur on either side, with the natural banking used to good effect. Can often be chaotic at the start, but just as often sets up the field for an interesting run down to Turn Four. How a first turn should be!
If you have ever played on the F1 codemasters game you would know that Suzuka turn one sucks ass, you always go in to quickly and run wide but if you go in slow you loose shit loads of time, getting it right is bloody impossible...
It doesn't suck ass it only sucks ass in F1 because its hard as balls to drive Suzuka without wheel not sure with it. But its a challenging corner, even harder in traffic and its unique which is why i love it. And its so fast but still so challenging.
I was torn between Interlagos, Suzuka and Spa, but I also like Fuji's.. Went for Spa in the end as it always mixes things up a little even when they all make it around..
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