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Insight: The honour of naming corners after F1 & MotoGP stars
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Posted By: Editor   |  20 Sep 2018   |  11:19 pm GMT  |  61 comments

Following in the footsteps of the likes of Ayrton Senna, Giles Villeneuve, Mick Doohan, Nigel Mansell, Michael Schumacher, Giacomo Agostini and Casey Stoner, Marc Marquez is about to be the latest motorsport hero to receive the honour of having corner named after him.

Marquez is the latest in a long line; famously, the ‘Senna S’ – the first couple of corners at the Interlagos circuit in Brazil – was named after three-time F1 champion Ayrton Senna, whilst a similar thing has been done to turns 9 and 10 at the Nürburgring, this time in recognition of Michael Schumacher, who also had turn one at the Bahrain International Circuit named after him as a tribute following his skiing accident in 2014.

Salut Gilles tribute on the grid of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Some locations are named in tribute, for example Canadian racer Gilles Villeneuve had the entire Montreal circuit named after him following his death in 1982, whilst some corners are named after memorable moments, such as the final corner of the re-profiled Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez (itself named after racing brother Pedro and Ricardo Rodríguez), which has been named after 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell in recognition of his brilliant overtake on Gerhard Berger at the Peraltada in 1990.

“When I found out about the turn naming of course I was delighted. Flattered, proud and delighted in equal measure,” said Mansell back in 2015 prior to the return of the Mexican Grand Prix.

Since he his debut in MotoGP back in 2013, Marquez has always performed well at Aragon, with the circuit being one of his favourites of the season. This weekend it hosts the next round of the championship.

He’s succeeded more often than not; he’s won three out of five possible times, also earning four pole positions in the process.

The close relationship between the champion and the circuit has led executives to decide to name one of the turns after Marquez; we now know this will be turn number 10.

In this way, Marquez will become the second active rider with the privilege of having a turn named after him, joining Jorge Lorenzo. The Majorcan has his own namesake in Jerez, as the track decided to put his name on it as, they did with Alex Criville in the last sector.

In motorcycling (as in F1) it’s common to name a turn after a rider who has a relationship with the place itself. For example, no one has been able to overcome turn three at Phillip Island faster than Casey Stoner, who was honored back in 2012, the same year he decided to retire. “It’s something odd because this normally happens when someone retires,” the Southport man said at the time, when he was already two-time World Champion and Honda spearhead of the moment.

One of the most iconic points of the current calendar is the second turn of Cheste, known as the Mick Doohan turn, at which Valentino Rossi crashed in 2006, thereby losing the Championship. It so happens that the Italian, despite being a worldwide icon of this sport, doesn’t want to have his name on any track.

In F1 and the motor racing world, there have also been drivers that made their mark in some places, and those situations meant great opportunities for the promoters to catch the public’s attention.

Ayrton Senna races against the Renault of Derek Warwick on entry to Surtees corner at Brands Hatch.

British racing circuits have a long history of renaming their corners after famous racing personalities. At the Snetterton circuit, corners are named after personalities related to racing on two wheels and four, including Lewis Hamilton, Giacomo Agostini, Sir Frank Williams and Murray Walker. The only world champion on both disciplines, John Surtees, has been allocated a corner at the Brands Hatch GP circuit.

Some corners, however, have more poignant meanings.

The former Formula One circuit Zolder re-profiled and renamed the corner at which Gilles Villeneuve died. The corner became a chicane and is now known as the Villeneuve Chicane in tribute to the Canadian. At the full Nurburgring circuit, ‘Lauda Links’ (Lauda left) is the name given to the corner, just before the Bergwerk corner, where Niki Lauda had his spectacular crash in 1976.

At Monza, the Vialone corner was another piece of circuit to be updated due to the increased demand for improved safety. It was redesigned and renamed the Ascari chicane in 1972, seventeen years after Ferrari’s Alberto Ascari perished in a crash during a private test there.

In the wider motor sport world, the Gerlachbocht corner at the Circuit Zandvoort was named after sportscar racer Wim Gerlach, who died after crashing his Porsche during a race back in 1957.

By: Oriol Puigdemont & Luke Murphy

All images: Motorsport Images

How many corners can you think of which are named after personalities in Motorsport? Leave your thoughts in the section below.

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1

It’s good to have corner names and to honour great drivers – living or deceased – but I also like to see corners named after other things. Brands Hatch arguably goes OTT with the way it names everything after drivers (Graham Hill Bend, Surtees, Hawthorn, Sheene Curve, Stirling’s Bend, Clark’s, Cooper straight, Brabham straight, Desire Wilson stand etc.)!

2

Neat idea. They should name the Esses in sector one at COTA after Lewis. He’s ballistic around there. Apt, since maggot becketts chapel combination, of which it’s model after is already taken.

3

Just what we need. Stoner Corner.

A new place for the Bog People from Watkins Glen.

4

Was not Donnington named after Mr Simply Sausages at one point?

5

My cheeky Tuppence worth.

Corners that offer zero challenge should be named after drivers who despite reputations were/are average.

Massa, D Hill, Vandoorne, and perhaps controversially, Vettel.

6

As some one who races at Sepang, I find the lack of meaningful corner names adds to the lack of caracter at these modern curcuits I’d like to see turn 11 named after Marco Simoncelli.

7

jdr wall of loosers?

8

This site is all to be about two wheel it seems. Even Horner is on two (or rather three) wheels

9

This corner thing was an a cracking idea! I have a few more

10

And we can as well already name a corner for Max V, since they’ve already planned at last 7 WDC’s and about 100 race victories to his name.

I suggest a corner in the already imagined (imaginery) racetrack in the Netherlands Go already and place a plaque in the imgainary corner somewhere in that gravel-pit to stan proudly. Well done chaps on to the next vision

11

Andretti Hairpin and Reighal Straight at Leguna Seca

Personally though, I prefer corner names that aren’t people names, like Eau Rouge, or Crainer Curves (Donington), or Sunset Bend (Sebring).

Random question, does anyone know why both Brands Hatch GP and Snetterton 300 both have a corner named “bum hole” or “bung hole”….been a mystery to me for years. “Jack Goff slides it up the inside of Stephen Jelly at the bung hole”…….pause, pause, pause.

12

I will never forget Murray Walker commentating a non-F1 race and saying, “He’s taking it DEEP into the bombhole!”

13

Murray needs a corner or something. His contribution to motorsport is IMO as great as any one team, say Ferrari. He also needs a Knighthood, although it’s a bit late.

14

The corner at Snet is called the Bombhole not the bum hole. Not sure where the name comes from though

15

So how did the Bombhole get its name?

In this early Snetterton Guy Griffiths photo from May 1953 we see the Allards of Ken Rudd and Billy Jacobs leading an Aston DB2 through the oil drum lined Esses, into the bend we know today as the Bombhole. Note there is not a dip in the road.

The Esses were sited at the intersection of two runways from the old WWII airfield. The North-South runway became the Home Straight ( the same runway we use as the circuit entrance today ), while the West-East runway would later become the Revett Straight when the circuit was shortened in 1974. There was a nasty bump where the perimeter road and the runway met ( in the foreground ).

In early 1954 the circuit owners Oliver Sear & Fred Riches called in contractor Ben Wyatt to ‘fix’ this problem, but they decided to create a slight banked corner with a man-made dip, to add a bit of variety to the lap. When the new Esses were sited at the end of the Revett Straight in 1974, (now called Brundle & Nelson ), for many years this bend with the dip by the grandstand had no name. Folklore says that the bike races found it a great challenge where several fell off..it became known as a ‘Bumhole’ of a corner, a name which stuck.

Of course commentator Norman Greenway could not use that name so in the early 80s the ‘Bombhole’ was born. But another problem was created due to bad drainage and the bombhole has often become a waterhole!

Many think the dip was from a wartime bomb, but Snetterton Heath airfield was never attacked and no bomb ever fell there. But lest we forget nearly 900 men were lost on missions from Snetterton, 189 aircraft lost in combat and a further 50 in accidents in the final 2 years and 3 months of the war in Europe when the USAAF 96th bomb group were operating from the airfield.

From http://www.snetterton.co.uk/residents/news/history-snippet-part-1.aspx

16

First rate post Basil, especially the final paragraph. Thank you.

17

What will we call that famous bit of concrete, well it’s not even a corner really, in Singapore?

The Aloso Triumphant pride and joy Wall?

The Brio Rainmaker Wall?

Jr Wall?

Or the Wall of Scapegoats?

The Pat Sinful Wall?

You pick and choose

18

Piquet’s Folly!

19

At the full Nurburgring circuit, ‘Lauda Links’ (Lauda left) is the name given to the corner, just before the Berkwerk corner, where Niki Lauda had his spectacular crash in 1976.

It’s Bergwerk.

20

Was this left over from the Silly Season file?

21

Great idea.

But with the New owners making a deal with a betting company which Bernie said he would never do, as it’s makes the sport less high end, and more tacky. Are we about to see virtual betting promotions on track. Which will make the circuits look like betting shop bill boards. Surely this will make the circuits look cheap and tacky?

The beautiful tracks will loose a bit of their ambience.

Next thing we will have the ‘Tick Tack Toe Bookies” waving their arms about sending odds to the chalk boards.

How will this play in countries where betting is frowned upon?

Chevy et al are creating a hot dog brass band baton twirling mockery of F1.

22

Sky could add John Mcrirrick to the commentary team!

23

I frown upon betting. To quote Wild Bill. Sooner or later the house always wins.

24

If you want an easy answer then Yes! With the new owners….they wont go tell you watäs happens like Bernie. in his own way. They wont. But they said enough about some of their “visions”

25

Chris D

Seems the new American owners vision includes alot of hydrogenated fat hot dogs and corn dogs plus alot of banner waving and alot of gambling. Las Vegas here we come. Can imagine without the grid girls. There will alot of Elvis impersonators holding the umbrellas eating a super fried banana fritter with maple syrup and a big Gulp.

The only bit that appeals to me is, if a good Elvis impersonator can say “Gentlemen start your engines a Thank You very much 🤣!”

Maybe Tiny Elvis from the Saturday Live Shows.

“See those traffic lights there huge Man …Huge I tell yah🚦!!”🤣

26

@ BKF The tackiest was the intro at COTA. That was the foretaste of what was to come….It was predicted by many people and just shows where this is all headed. Next thing big thing will be the disappearance of champagne on the podium to be replaced by bottles of milk!!!!

27

Half todays mamby pamby drivers will probably claim they are ‘dairy intolerant’ so it might have to be soya milk!

28

As an American thanks for the compliments. We love tacky.

29

@jdr

Well, I love all the razzmatazz which accompanies the race at CoTA. I wouldn’t want the same thing at every race but ,there, in the sunshine, I think its great.

30

Come on jdr you have some blue ribbon sporting events that avoid the Tacky …

US Open Tennis and in sailing the “Americas Cup” you don’t see alot of gambling electronic billboards in those events.

I’m just hoping we don’t see a t-shirt air gun zapping COTA shirts into the crowd.

America can do sport without the dodgy razzmatazz.

Kenneth isn’t the Americas sailing Cup also called the “Auld Cup” too?” I’m sure I heard it being called Auld in ol’Blighty🇬🇧.

31

@ Jdr…That’s because as Americans you do it so well. Las Vegas is the shining example of wall to wall crass plastic overkill. Nothing personal.

32

@kenneth

Whilst in contrast, Australians and Australia is renowned the World over, for it’s understated charm and graceful elegance.

Nothing personal.

33

Yep Kenneth

Cota turned into a NFL play off jamboree last year.

Oh no…

The Horror The Horror !!

No not the obligatory glass bottle of full fat milk !! That’ll be a Will Ferrell comedy Tallahdega special. Shake n Bake no thank you.

Champagne all the way🍾

34

i don’t think any corner or track should be named after hamilton.

the series should be name “44 lewis hamilton f1”.

corners and race tracks are for the greats, not the greatest.

35

After they retire Hamilton and Vettel deserve a corner or wall I think.

36

How about naming corners with driver names of their famous clashes 🙂

– casio chicane -> senna-prost

– monza 1st chicane -> senna-schlesser

– turkey back straight -> vettel-webber

– Barcelona tn 3 -> Hamilton-rosberg

😀 permanent reminder of those historic moments

37

Don’t forget the shunting Schumacher on Hill .

Or

Schumacher-Barrichello (Schumacher trying to kill Barrichello at Hungary by “squeezing him into concrete wall”).

38

That Turkey idea is good.

39

Surely ‘Schumacher Corner’ should be none than turn 17 at Monaco.

40

No I like my idea of Bianchis as that bring back happy memories of jules .Calling Schumacher would bring back negative connotations from his park up in 2006 . A corner name that gives negative memories shouldn’t be used. Michael has a corner named after him at Nurburgring and Bahrain ( though no one ever seemingly refers to the name of the latter . Why I was thinking though maybe we should rename the the Sachs Curve at Hockenheim the Vettel curve after his off this year. As a Kimi fan I laughed for 2/3 days afterwards after that happened. Real Kimi fans rather than those just supporting Ferrari want Hamilton to win the WDC. I actually hate Ferrari with a passion and only have I relaxed my prejudiced view of that overrated Italian brand (which think it has a divine win right) when Kimi has been there.

41

Yeah that’s a fact. He did die. So Hamilton and Vettel don’t matter.

42

He was pushing too hard and made a mistake!

43

He made a mistakes allright, alnost got away with it

44

That’s the trouble with Schumey, he thought he was smarter than all of us. :).

45

Nico Rosberg can have the “slip road named after him” for his fake brake lock moment.

46

I think they should call rename 2 (or 3, depending on how they’re counting them this week) at the Red Bull Ring as Rosberg’s Left in honour of his last lap efforts in the 2016 Austrian GP.

47

I feel it degrades the honour if the person is still alive. It is supposed to be in memory of someone and should only be done with the support of the family involved.

48

I feel that a balance is needed between giving it to someone still active in F1 ( as you say degrading the honour) and giving it to someone in their twilight years, hence letting them appreciate the honour.

49

The last chicane at Spa should be renamed the Raikkonen Chicane as a tribute to his success there. I also think although it’s a controversial they’ll never do it La Rascasse at Monaco should be renamed Bianchis in joint recognition of the late Jules Bianchi’s pass there on Kamui Kobayshi there is 2014 on the way to scoring 9th place and the only two points in his all too short career and for his great-uncle Lucien’s podium in the 1968 Monaco GP.

51

It’s a shame Brands hatch hasn’t the status it once had and then there should be two Surtees corners 1 and 2 to underline the death of Henry and the introduction of the halo

52

The great irony is that most of these corners. are Mickey Mouse affairs unworthy of the great drivers from which they take their name.

53

Brock’s Skyline, Mt Panorama, Bathurst NSW.

54

Brabham Straight Adeleaide.

55

Sir Jack now has a whole suburb named after him in Perth , built on the old Caversham airstrip and race circuit – home of the 1962 Australian Grand Pix. Which was won by Bruce McLaren after Black Jack retired. Beat that Marquez!

56

@ Axell Knutt There is an old name that brings back fond memories. I sporadically raced sports cars at Caversham in 1958 and again in 1964 with WASCA. Great old circuit where even the odd ‘roo’ was spotted at race times. My Dad was originally posted at the RAAF base at Pearce nearby.

57

Magny-cours with bends named after the circuits they are modelled on not unique but unusual that non of the bends have people associated with them. As to naming a bend after someone still alive and still walking around the paddock then I do sometimes question the choices. For example Snetterton honouring Murray Walker and Williams I can really understand but then it lets itself down with a few names of drivers not in their twilight years and still associating with F1

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