Valencia Street Circuit
Spain is the only country in the world to have two Grands Prix; Barcelona is the first and Valencia the second, under the auspices of the European Grand Prix. The race joined the F1 calendar in August 2008, since when it has moved to a June date in search of cooler weather.
The 5.419km circuit weaves its way around the city’s America’s Cup port and is made up of 25 corners, which is more than any other track. For a street circuit, it has a relatively high average speed (196kmh), mainly due to four long straights, yet the walls remain as close as on any other circuit.
AT&T Williams driver Rubens Barrichello won this race in 2009.
Sam Michael, Technical Director:
Typically the grip level is low at Valencia as it's a street circuit that takes some time to rubber up. The Pirelli tyres performed exceptionally in Monaco though, so we don't expect anything less here. Set-up is geared for slow speed corner grip, but there is also a fantastic high speed section through Sector Three. We have some further upgrades to our diffuser and our target is to be in the points with both our cars.
Valencia is very important to me. It was there that I won my first race in 2009 and it was also the 100th GP win for Brazil, so it was very special. It is a very long circuit with lots of corners so you need the car set-up for good traction. I love this race track. The final part of the circuit has some high speed corners which makes the circuit feel very complete.
I first raced on the Valencia Street Circuit in 2008 in a Dodge Viper Coupé GT3 and finished second. I entered the European GT race as I wanted to learn the track ahead of the GP2 event that year, which I also went on to finish second in, before winning there in 2010. The track is very similar to Montréal with long straights, slow corners and walls very close to the track. My favourite part is in the final section, when you brake into the last corner just before the pit entry. The weather in that part of Spain is fantastic and I guess the place will be full of Venezuelan fans so that will make it a great weekend for me.
From Cosworth’s perspective:
The characteristics of the Valencia street circuit are in stark contrast to Formula One’s other fully-fledged street tracks at Monaco and Singapore with much higher average and top speeds, which place notable demands on power units. The track has the highest number of corners of any track on the calendar – 25 in total – with nine relatively slow corners which have similar apex speeds, putting a real emphasis on low-speed driveability. Cosworth has good memories from last year’s European Grand Prix after a competitive performance for the Williams-Cosworth package and a strong drive by Rubens to fourth place.
From Pirelli’s perspective:
In Spain our PZero White medium tyre will make its competition debut as the prime tyre with the PZero Yellow soft as the option. The last two street races at Monaco and Canada provided a really thrilling finish and we’re hoping that this will be the case again in Valencia, giving AT&T Williams the opportunity to score more points through both pace and strategy.