Valencia Street Circuit
- Not to be confused with Circuit de Valencia, permanent racing circuit in the same area, often used for Formula One test sessions
The swing bridge, an important element of the Valencia Street Circuit.
|Time zone||GMT +1|
|Major events||FIA Formula One
European Grand Prix
Spanish Grand Prix
|Length||5.419 km (3.367 mi)|
|Lap record||1:38.683 ( Timo Glock, Toyota, 2009, Formula One)|
The Valencia Street Circuit (Valencian: Circuit Urbà de València, Spanish: Circuito Urbano de Valencia) was a street circuit in Valencia, Spain which hosted the Formula One European Grand Prix for five years (2008–2012). The first race meeting on the circuit was held over the 23/24 August 2008 weekend, with Felipe Massa winning the main event, the European Grand Prix, after starting from pole position. The circuit uses the roads skirting the city's harbour and America's Cup port area – including a section over a 140-metre-long (460 ft) swing bridge, and also includes some roads designed exclusively for racing purposes by the German architect Hermann Tilke, who also designed the infrastructure buildings for the circuit. The 2012 edition took place on 24 June and was the last to go under the name of the European Grand Prix. It will no longer be used from 2013 after a deal fell through to alternate this venue with Catalunya in Barcelona to host the Spanish Grand Prix.
The deal to host the Valencia race was signed on June 1, 2007, and is for seven years. The deal was made between Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone and the Valmor Sport group, which is led by former motorcycle rider Jorge Martinez Aspar and Villarreal football club's president Fernando Roig. This deal goes back on comments made by Ecclestone previously stating that no European country should hold more than one race each year as Barcelona currently holds the Spanish Grand Prix each year.
Although now confirmed, the deal was rumored to be conditional on the People's Party winning regional elections on 27 May 2007. However, Ecclestone had clarified his comments on May 16, 2007: "I said I wouldn't formalise a contract until after the elections because I didn't know who I would be signing it with." He said his statements were taken out of context. Ecclestone has since been cleared of influencing the election by the Valencian Electoral Commission.
The official track layout was unveiled by Valencia councillor and transport counselor, Mario Flores, on 19 July 2007. The track was first used in the last weekend of July 2008, as the circuit hosted a round of the Spanish F3 Championship and International GT Open. It was first used for the European Grand Prix on August 24, 2008.
The track was 5.419 kilometres (3.367 mi) long and incorporated a total of 25 turns – 11 right-handers and 14 left-handers. It was estimated that the track had a top speed of around 323 kilometres per hour (201 mph), with a lap record of 1:38.683, held by Timo Glock, which he set during the 2009 European Grand Prix. Valencia was not as tight as Circuit de Monaco but overtaking opportunities were still scarce, due to the straights not being straight and the dust off line. Nico Hülkenberg noticed quite a bit of space for a street circuit and some corners have a lot of run-off area. Robert Kubica suggested that good traction and good braking stability were crucial to win at this circuit because there were a lot of long straight lines ending with heavy braking.
The circuit had been criticised by the drivers for its lack of overtaking opportunities. Changes in Formula One in 2011, including the introduction of the Drag reduction system and the switch to Pirelli tyres, partially improved that with 27 passes recorded in that year's race, 22 of which were accredited to the assistance of DRS. However, the five 'normal' overtakes still represented the year's second lowest total, although the adoption of two DRS zones for that year's race limited the potential for non-DRS assisted passes. Despite this, the 2012 Race was shown to have many different overtakes and became one of the most thrilling races of the season. It also had many more retirements - a total in four in 2012 compared to 0 retirements during the 2011 race.
- List of Formula One circuits
- Circuit de Valencia – another motor racing circuit in Valencia used for MotoGP Valencian Community motorcycle Grand Prix.
- "Swing Bridge Already Closed – Valencia Street Circuit". Valencia Street Circuit (Generalitat Valenciana). 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
- "Telefónica, Principal Sponsor of the Formula 1 Telefónica Grand Prix of Europe – Valencia Street Circuit". Valencia Street Circuit (Generalitat Valenciana). 2008-07-23. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
- "Telefónica is European GP Sponsor (Translated from Spanish)". Valenciacircuitourbano.com. 2008-01-28. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
- "The Official Formula 1 Website". www.formula1.com. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- "Motorsport: Spanish drivers eager to please home fans". nzherald.co.nz. 2010-06-25. Retrieved 2010-06-26.
- "Fernando Alonso wins brilliantly in Valencia". BBC Sport. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- "2012 Grand Prix of Europe". Formula 1™. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- "Valencia deal done". GPUpdate.net. 2007-06-01. Retrieved 2011-02-01.
- "Valencia street race for 2008". The Official Formula 1 Website. 2007-05-10. Archived from the original on 2007-05-13. Retrieved 2007-05-12.
- "Ecclestone seeks to clarify Valencia deal". EEMS. 2007-05-16. Retrieved 2007-05-19.
- "Bernie Ecclestone cleared of influencing elections in Valencia, with Formula 1 announcement". bymnews.com. 2007-06-21. Retrieved 2007-06-25.
- "Valencia plans revealed". Forumula1.net. 2007-07-20. Retrieved 2007-07-20.
- "Valencia track unveiled". Pitpass. 2007-07-19. Retrieved 2007-07-19.
- "Preview of the European Grand Prix". Viva F1. 2012-06-23. Retrieved 2012-06-23.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Valencia Street Circuit.|
- The F1 Valencia Street Circuit Official Site
- More Monza than Monaco – why Valencia's no ordinary street circuit
- City limits: Toyota on what to expect in Valencia
- A lap of Valencia with Honda’s Mike Conway
- Facts and figures – Valencia and its new street circuit
- Valencia – the technical requirements
- The F1 Valencia Street Circuit Non-oficial Guide Site
- Valencia Street Circuit guide from Official F1 Site
- BBC's circuit guide
- Valencia Street Circuit on Google Maps (currently inactive Formula 1 circuit) (English)
- Valencia F1 Street Circuit in Google Maps (Spanish)