The FIA Formula 1 season has been one of the most unpredictable in series history, with an unprecedented seven different winners in the first seven races of the year.
But for the championship-leading Red Bull Racing squad, they are expecting that the one thing that can be predicted is for them to repeat their recent successes in Valencia – site of this weekend’s European Grand Prix.
Valencia is one of the fastest street circuits in Formula One. Overtaking is possible, but only with some risk.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel has won each of the last two Valencia F1 events, and the team earned a double podium finish last year when Mark Webber came home in third behind his teammate.
“Obviously it’s very difficult to predict how we might go in Valencia, as we’ve clearly seen with seven winners and plenty of different podiums,” Webber said. “Our main goal is to improve our positions in both championships, so personally for me in the Drivers’ Championship and of course the team is looking to keep a good margin in the Constructors’.”
But both drivers understand that previous success earns you nothing when the flag waves this weekend, and the demanding street circuit at Valencia makes vital and passing opportunities are few and far between.
“Valencia is one of the fastest street circuits in Formula One. Overtaking is possible, but only with some risk,” Vettel said. “The reason is that the air turbulence created by cars driving closely behind each other doesn’t disappear as it normally would due to the high walls around the track; you lose grip and, in some extreme cases, you have to lift the throttle. The start-finish straight in Valencia is special because it‘s not very long, it turns into a fast right corner which we take at 290kph.”