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The slowest corner in F1 is the "Grand Hotel Hairpin" in Monaco. It’s essentially a U-turn. Drivers will take this corner around 47 kph or 30 mph on average. Would you take a U-turn at 47kph? I think not.



Many factors allow race car drivers to take corners at such high speeds. As one would guess, the design of the car has a lot to do with its ability to take the corners. There’s a lot of analysis done on the car as well as the driver during corners. Depending on the track, engineers may use the data to make adjustments to suspension, brakes, and aerodynamics to allow the driver to take the corners faster and more efficiently. Drivers will use this data to determine their corner strategy to attack the corner and where they can improve their times.


We’ve talked about aerodynamics before, so we’ll focus on another important aspect: the balance of the car. The balance of the car, especially in corners, has a major effect on speed. Drivers attempt to keep the balance as even as possible through the corner by using a dance of brake and acceleration to make sure that the car doesn’t push too far forward on braking and too far back on acceleration.


One of the biggest parts of the car that helps with the balance is the suspension system. In cornering situations the suspension system will help keep the weight from rolling too far to the right or left or what engineers call managing the pitch and roll of the car. The suspension can also help with handling oversteer and understeer where the car will lose grip to the track. Understeer is when the car's front wheels struggle to turn due to the loss of grip. Oversteer is when the backend loses grip and the back of the car slips out in what most people call a "skid." The suspension systems, when doing their job correctly, help keep the tyres pinned to the track allowing drivers to keep maximum grip around the track. The combination of aerodynamics and suspension systems allow the Formula 1 cars to take corners at speeds that our normal cars can’t even come close to.




Now that you have an idea of what the car is doing during a corner, let's talk about the driver. The driver has a lot going on during a corner. We’ll consider some of the other factors another time (like G-force, shifting gears, and break points). Let’s look at how the driver is focusing on the corner itself.


If the shortest distance from one point to another is in a straight line, then this is the goal of the race car driver in the corner: to achieve as straight a line through the corner as possible. There are many ways to accomplish this goal within a corner, depending on driver preference and what’s happening around the driver. To understand this a little better, let’s discuss the three parts to a corner: entry, apex, and exit. 


Entry: In my opinion, the entry of the corner is the most difficult part of racing to be consistent, due to the number of factors involved. There's a lot of force on the car as it slows, from the balance to the grip; slowing a Formula 1 car involves managing an extreme amount of energy. A good entry into the corner allows the driver the ability to make good decisions on the apex and exit of the corner. A bad entry can cause the entire corner to be a rodeo and not allow the driver to maintain optimal speed through the apex or the exit of the corner, resulting in lost time. The entry is also important from an offensive and defensive position when cars are fighting on the track. How effectively cars take the entry to the corner can find the leading car ahead or behind the car they are battling with on exit.


Apex: The apex of a corner is defined as the closest point to the inside of the corner without going off the road. When watching Formula 1, you will see drivers try to get to the apex of the corner on every corner, since this is the fastest way around the track. The apex of the corner can change depending on how the driver enters the corner. Strategy and what’s going on around the driver can determine which apex they attempt to hit. There can be an early apex, where the car hits the apex at the entry of the corner. Then there’s the late apex where the car  hits the apex on exit. Typically the strategy is to hit the apex of the midpoint of the corner or the "traditional apex" to attempt to keep that straight line, but when you’ve got other race cars attempting to pass you, using the early or late apex maneuvers can help keep other cars behind you. However, if the driver doesn’t get the apex right or misses the apex, it can spell disaster for their lap times and their position.


Exit: The exit of the corner is where the ballet dance happens with the driver's feet. The driver has to apply the proper amount of throttle on exit, allowing the car to go as fast as it can, but not letting the oversteer take over where the car may spin out. Drivers at this point will be working to exit the corner to set themselves up for the next obstacle on the track. Get the exit right, and the driver will find speed on exit, in many cases pulling away from the car behind.



Hopefully this explains just one factor that the drivers are working through in each corner as well as some of the mechanics happening with the car. The race this weekend has many different types of corners at the Hungarian Circuit and will challenge teams to have the right balance, as well as the drivers to focus, to drive through the corners as fast as they can in a straight line. This circuit is similar to Monaco and will be a great test of how teams analyze their corner data.

Hungarian Grand Prix



The Hungaroring in Budapest, built in 1985, is considered a rhythm track. Due to the number of corners that link together and the lack of straights, drivers will try to create a rhythm around the track that allows them to push themselves and their cars to the limit.


Free Practice Recap

How to read: session#, best lap time, (time behind first place time) number of laps in session, best place finish in session.


Lando Norris #4

FP1 1m18.649s (+1.094s) 26 laps 9th

FP2 1m18.313s (+1.301s) 25 laps 9th

FP3 1m17.772s (+0.946s) 12 laps 6th


Daniel Ricciardo #3

FP1 1m19.265s (+1.710s) 27 laps 14th

FP2 1m18.737s (+1.725s) 26 laps 13th

FP3 1m17.942s (+1.116s) 15 laps 8th



Qualifying Recap

How to Read: session#, fastest lap time, best place finish in session.


Lando Norris #4

Q1 1m17.081s (Softs) 7th

Q2 1m16.385s (Softs) 2nd

Q3 1m16.489s (Softs) 6th


Daniel Ricciardo #3

Q1 1m17.664s (Softs) 14th

Q2 1m16.871s (Softs) 11th


Race Recap:


Light rain happened at the start of the race and teams fitted their cars with intermediate tyres to handle the lack of grip on track. Lando Norris got a great start and then suffered heavy damage by getting run into from behind after pushing up to a 3rd position into the first corner. Daniel Ricciardo was also spun in the first turn by another car trying to avoid the carnage that was happening in front of them. The race was red flagged to clean up the track, which allowed the teams to work on the cars. Unfortunately, the team ended up having to retire Lando’s car during the red flag as there was just too much damage. Bad luck for Lando. Daniel was able to continue after the incident but was carrying damage to the right side of the car.


At restart, all of the teams left the pit lane on their intermediate tyres for the warmup lap, but then all drivers except Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton went back into the pit to switch to the dry weather slick tyres before the race restarted. I’ve never seen anything like this before! One car restarted the race on the track while the rest restarted in the pits. The Hungaroring is the 2nd most difficult track to pass, but hopefully Daniel (restarting 9th) would be able to turn some of that bad luck into good luck. Lap 23, Daniel pitted to put on the hard tyre compound which should take him to the end of the race. Many of the other teams pitted after, so hopefully he’ll be able to push past a few other positions. Daniel made a great pass to move into 10th after the round of pits which put him back into 11th. Daniel did a great job keeping the Red Bull behind him all day, but eventually couldn’t hold off the fresher tyres from the Red Bull, which pushed McLaren out of the points. Tough day for McLaren with none of the issues they had being their fault. It happens in racing and unfortunately McLaren just had bad luck. The teams move into a break and McLaren will regroup and be ready for a big push into the rest of the year.





Hungarian 2021 Podium


Drivers Championship Points


Constructor Championship Points





Lewis Hamilton




Sebastian Vettel


Max Verstappen


Red Bull


Lewis Hamilton


Sergio Perez




Full F1 results


Next Race: Belgium Grand Prix

Date: Sunday, August 29

Track: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps

Dan Menke
Community Analytics and Operations Manager

Dan is the Community Operations Manager at Alteryx. From optimizing moderation processes, to exploring new engagement techniques, Dan spends his days supporting clients by cultivating great Community experiences.

Dan is the Community Operations Manager at Alteryx. From optimizing moderation processes, to exploring new engagement techniques, Dan spends his days supporting clients by cultivating great Community experiences.