LAP OF THE TRACK with Alex Wurz and Mike Conway Alex Wurz, Test & Reserve Driver: "I remember the first Formula One test that I did in Valencia in 2000. Back then it was the tiniest town and it has grown like mad to become a very cool city....
LAP OF THE TRACK with Alex Wurz and Mike Conway
Alex Wurz, Test & Reserve Driver: "I remember the first Formula One test that I did in Valencia in 2000. Back then it was the tiniest town and it has grown like mad to become a very cool city. There are good places to go out and it's very fast moving. The city is really into sport, with football and the America's Cup, and they will put on a good show for Formula One. I think Valencia will very quickly establish itself as one of our favourite Grands Prix.
"Being a street track, it will have that extra bit of flair and it will be a real buzz for the drivers to learn a new track. It will be dusty to start with, so they will need to increase their speed steadily because the barriers will be very unforgiving. I really like street circuits and it would be cool to be racing this weekend!"
Mike Conway, Honda Racing F1 Team Young Driver: "I raced at Valencia the weekend before the Hungarian Grand Prix in a GT sportscar. It's a challenging track, although the high concrete walls give it a very different feel to somewhere like Monaco. The first corner is a curved right-hander, which will be taken flat-out in an F1 car, and then it's hard on the brakes for Turn 2, a second-gear right-hander. Turn 3 is a fourth-gear kink, as are Turns 5 and 6, and the cars will probably be in seventh gear before they brake for Turn 8, which is the start of the bridge section.
"There's a small bump as you go on and off the Astilleros Bridge, which could unsettle the cars in the wet, and then there's a 90-degree right before the track drops away and you head down a long, curved straight. Slower cars could be a problem here in qualifying, so you need to keep your eyes on the marshals as you accelerate through the gears.
"You brake really hard for Turn 12 and it is here that it feels most like a street circuit because there are traffic lights hanging across the track and you can see buildings. A double-left comes next and you're almost immediately into Turn 14, a fourth gear 90-degree right. Then you're onto another long straight, at the end of which there's a hairpin that's not dissimilar to the Adelaide Hairpin at Magny-Cours. This will be a good overtaking opportunity.
"You're now into the latter stages of the lap, which is characterised by some fast, sweeping corners. They take you all the way to the final corner, which is a fairly tight left-hander. The exit will be important because you're then heading onto the start/finish straight to start another lap."