Formula One returns to Europe next weekend with Round Eight of the 2011 World Championship taking place in Spain as Valencia hosts the European Grand Prix on the streets around the city’s Juan Carlos I Marina.
With 25 officially numbered corners, the Valencia Street Circuit features the highest number of turns of any current F1 circuit. 69% of lap is spent at full throttle, equal to Melbourne, Istanbul and Silverstone, and the drivers will make almost 3,650 gear changes during the race, the fifth highest total of the season. Valencia 'rubbered in' more than any other circuit except Korea in 2010: the difference between the fastest time in P1 and the pole time in Qualifying was 3.588s, demonstrating the development of grip at the circuit.
After the exciting and dramatic race in Canada last weekend, Ross is looking forward to heading to the impressive Valencia Street Circuit for the next race: “The lap around the marina in Valencia has many similarities to the track in Montreal with long straights and slow corners, whilst presenting an interesting challenge as it is quicker and much more open than a typical street circuit. Traction is important and the stop-start nature of some sectors can be tough on the brakes. The last race in Canada saw a positive weekend for the team, and whilst we still need to work on the ultimate pace of the car, it was encouraging and rewarding to be fighting for a podium finish again.”
Norbert feels that Valencia has established itself well on the calendar: “Although this is a street race, the layout is very unusual for a street circuit and completely different to a track like Monaco, for example. The track surface is wide, even and very smooth. There is a large variety of corners, ranging from long and fast curves to short, sharp turns. Good traction and braking are important here, just like engine performance and aerodynamic efficiency. Our team will be aiming to build on our performance shown during the last race in Canada.”