Strangely there have been some reasonable GP2 races at Valencia suggesting maybe the circuit has potential. The excitement in GP2 though has mainly come from less experienced drivers going for half chances and causing incidents. In Formula One there are not enough clear chances for drivers to over-take and even DRS in 2011 didn’t stop the race being a complete snooze fest.
When Formula One first went to Valencia a lot was expected and the Tarmac run offs at places like turn 20 were meant to allow for people to try that little harder but this hasn’t worked and takes away the factor you have somewhere like Monaco that people may get things wrong and have an accident in these places to put them out of the race. Even a gravel trap instead would perhaps make things more interesting.
The 2010 race will be remembered for Mark Webber colliding with the back of Kovalainen’s Lotus and flipping his Red Bull into the air. The 2010 Valencia Street Circuit race also featured Kobayshi taking a strategy with a late stop that saw him finish 7th. Lewis Hamilton passing the safety car as he left the pits and the twenty minutes it took before he was given a penalty also led to controversy as this allowed him to keep his second place. The start in 2010 was fairly exciting as well meaning that if you had to pick a classic Valencia race this would be it.
It doesn’t help that on TV the track is surrounded by walls all round so you could be watching a race anywhere, as a spectator things are a little better and you have the ocean and the beach nearby. You can get fairly close to the cars in some grandstands at Valencia as well.
Turn 12 should be an overtaking opportunity but it isn’t, the tarmac should help but it is just too tight, this is an obvious place to make changes in the future though. The straight leading into turn 12 though is a good place to watch from the grandstand if you want to see the cars at their fastest.
A better overtaking place though is into turn 17, again though it is a little tight and so you need to have the job completely done before turn in to make sure the door isn’t simply closed.