5 Great Chicanes in Sim Racing

Automobilista 2 Monza 1991 Benetton B191 Formula Classic Gen 4.jpg
Racing circuits with a great flow and fast corners are usually very popular with sim racers – for obvious reasons. Chicanes, on the other hand, are normally the complete opposite, as they tend to interrupt the flow of a track layout. There are positive examples, however – we have assembled five of them for you.

Often introduced as an afterthought for safety reasons, many chicanes have been added to racing tracks around the world to slow cars down for otherwise dangerous turns, be it due to a lack of run-off area or simply to reduce the risk of accidents happening there. They can be tedious, especially the tight variations as found at Variante del Rettifilo at Monza, for example.

The abundance of annoying, but necessary chicanes make our five examples stand out even more. To clarify: Not all left-right or right-left combinations of corners classify as chicanes here. For the sake of this article, we are taking those into account that have been added to existing track layouts as safety measures – so while Campus at Spa-Francorchamps offers a nice flow, it has been included in the reworked layout of the track from the start, meaning it does not qualify in our case.

Of course, this list is by no means definitive – if you have a different opinion on any of the included sections or are missing one or more from it, let us know in the comments!


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2: The Chase
3: Inner Loop
4: Veedol-Schikane
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Yannik Haustein
Lifelong motorsport enthusiast and sim racing aficionado, walking racing history encyclopedia.

Sim racing editor, streamer and one half of the SimRacing Buddies podcast (warning, German!).

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Comments

I appreciate a good chicane when its wide enough for two cars and encourages passes around the outside into the first turn to have the inside line on the second turn. For example, Tamburello. Without chicanes like this, too large of a percent of overtakes anymore are just barging down the inside

I give a special exception to the one-car-wide swimming pool section of Monaco, because of how fast and on the edge of race-ending destruction it is
 
I can deal with the first 4, but I don't like any of the chicanes at Imola, and that track will never increase in my estimation, nor will the racing really improve, until there is a clean run up to Tosa once again.

(There's a reason I rate Imola no better than #5 among the major Italian circuits. If they hadn't reconfigured Misano back in 2007, Imola might be behind it, too.)

As an alternative to item #5 on the list of more acceptable chicanes, I submit the old Monaco chicane. I don't really care that that's how the circuit was originally laid out, but if you want to get technical about it, the chicane moved in 1972, and then was reinstated in the old location once again for 1973-85.
 
There are two chicanes in AMS that I'm in love with.

  1. Ibarra, just before the final corner. Usually flat out, but with the right car, can be pretty tricky.
  2. Salvador, just before the start/finish line. Granted, it's a pain in the ass at race start, but after that, it's quite challenging to get properly, especially in qualifying, given the straight that follows it.
 
Imola used to have four of my favorite chicanes, but now it only has three. :(

I'll add in the first chicane at Zolder as one of my favorites as well.
 
There are no "great" chicanes, all are abominations. The only exceptions are those designed into the circuit from its inception.

If the excuse is that the cars are too fast, then slow the cars not the track. How do today's cars compare to those of previous years? Who knows, the tracks are all different. Monza is no longer a high speed track, Silverstone is a charter member of the "chicane of the month" club, the flow of Suzuka was absolutely ruined by that wretched Casio Chicane.

Then there are those chicanes added for no other reason than to slow cars in front of a new grandstand, such as that NASCARE abomination at Watkins Glen.

Change the cars and drivers to suit the tracks, stop changing the tracks to showcase the cars.
 
the shell corner i think its called, on the nürburgring right after the U turn. Highly fun, especially in high downforce cars
 
Speaking Autodromo di Monza:
  • Variante Rettifilo (1976-1999), curbs to be negotiated, entering from top speed.
Reminds a bit of
  • Senna Chicane of Adelaide Parklands.
(should be mentioned within any top 5 chicane list IMHO!)

And ofcourse a Bienvenue au Québec á "Mur du Québec":
  • T12-13 chicane leading into Wall of Champions at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
Could continue, but time ran out again here, besides just realized there's already more posts to this article, sorry.

However, bear in mind the definition of 'a chicane' - different from 'slopes' (on beforehand purpose built or delivered by nature itself) of which list would add up rapidly.
 
Last edited:
Regarding the Corkscrew, I think it would be more accurate to call that complex a "switchback", because that's essentially what it functions as.
 

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