The final chicane at Catalunya doesn’t just look stupid, it also separate the cars and ruins chances to overtake, still, we’ve seen a lot worse around the world. Corners too tight to negotiate, dangerous level crossings and chicanes put in for safety, that made the track even more unsafe.
Click below to see the dumbest corners in Motorsport.
Nissan Corner Temporary Chicane – Catalunya
After the tragedy of Imola in 1994 Formula One went safety mad, and rightly so. The Spanish Grand Prix that year was the first for the newly formed Grand Prix Drivers Association, who decided a temporary chicane should be installed at the high-speed Nissan corner.
With no time to make track modifications, race organisers created a chicane by putting two small tyre barriers right in the middle of the track. During Qualifying, Bertrand Gachot locked up and crashed and in-turn destroying the temporary chicane. While the intentions were good, it was just down-right stupid.
Turn 8, Beijing International Street Circuit
During the first season of the now defunct A1GP, the ‘World Cup of Motorsport’ travelled to China to race on the newly built Beijing International Street Circuit. Even before the weekend began there were safety concerns, most of which involved the ridiculously tight Turn 8 hairpin.
First practice session began with Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg taking the hairpin at walking pace, only just avoiding contact with the outer barrier. He wasn’t the only one to struggle. Drivers came to a dead-stop and had to spin-turn their cars to get round the corner safely, whilst others didn’t even manage that and crashed into the barrier.
Being a tight street track there was little race organisers could do, the hairpin was moved slightly forward so the pit-entry could be used as a run-off area. Hardly a solution. A day later, advertising banners fell onto the track during Qualifying and the session was abandoned. Unsurprisingly, the circuit was never raced on again.
Turn 1&2, Oschersleben
Many people aren’t fans of Hermann Tilke and his circuit designs but he could do a lot worse. This is the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben in Germany, a track that hosts a round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship.
Rather then the usual first corner chicane, the track was changed to feature two 90 degree turns. As the video above shows, it led to inane circumstances. The commentator sums it up nicely, “The guy who designed that corner should be taken into a dark room and beaten.”
Eau Rouge, Spa Francorchamps
I know what you’re thinking; ‘How Eau Rouge be on this list?’ Well we have to go back to 1994 again, the year where temporary chicanes were installed anywhere possible, even at F1’s most beloved corner. The quick left-right flick was replaced with another clumsy chicane. Was it really necessary?
Pratt Street Chicane, Baltimore Grand Prix
Baltimore was another street track that wasn’t really thought through. Not only was there a tight hairpin that caused traffic jams but also a stupid chicane on the main straight. The purpose was to slow the cars down over tramlines (you’ll see why that’s important later) but all this did was ruin any chance of passing into turn one.
Turns 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13, Bahrain International Circuit
In 2010 it was decided their would use a new configuration at the Sakhir International Circuit in Bahrain. A tight and twisty section was added to the already boring race track and it only managed to make the racing even worse, with the terrible first sector separating the cars out for the rest of the lap.
We didn’t include a video of this one but you’d probably have fallen asleep.
Almaden Blvd Chicane, San Jose Grand Prix
2005 saw the inaugural Champ Car World Series race at San Jose. Before the race several drivers criticised the track for being too narrow and bumpy. Even worse was a crossing of a rail track, with some drivers jokingly comparing the circuit to a motocross track after complaining of headaches after just a few laps.
The high-speed Champ Cars would take-off whilst crossing the bumpy railway lines. The race saw the majority of cars crashing or retiring with mechanical issues caused by the crossing. You can see why from the video above!