Forgotten F1 Circuit: Valencia Street Circuit
Written by Cameron Gale, Edited by Simran Kanthi
The Valencia Street Circuit was a circuit in Valencia, Spain which played host to the European Grand Prix from 2008 to 2012 and was due to host the Spanish Grand Prix alongside Circuit de Barcelona from 2013 onwards. However, due to vandalism and lack of maintenance of the track, the decision was made to close the circuit in 2012.
Felipe Massa won the first race at the circuit in 2008 as he got a lights-to flag victory. It was his 100th race.
Rubens Barrichello won the second edition of the race after overcoming the McLarens which were driven by Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen.
The 2010 race was won by Sebastian Vettel. Vettel managed to get an easy win with only Hamilton putting up any resistance after Kamui Kobayashi held up the majority of the field after an accident that forced out the safety car. The incident involved Mark Webber and Kovalainen. Webber attempted to pass Kovalainen but misjudged the Lotus driver's braking and positioning for the next corner and flew over the top of the Lotus and came to a halt at the barrier.
In 2011, Vettel won the race once again from pole. No drivers retired from the race and this set a record for most finishers in a race.
In 2012, it was won by Fernando Alonso who won from 11th on the grid while pole-sitter Vettel retired with an alternator failure. Kimi Raikkonen also joined him on the podium after overtaking Hamilton who collided with Pastor Maldonado. Michael Schumacher got his first podium after his comeback here, coming from 11th with less than 15 laps to go.
In 2013, it was reported that thieves had stripped all of the valuables from the circuit buildings and the track area now resembles a ghost town.
The circuit had only one layout and it was a tight and twisty 25-corner street circuit with a few straights. The street circuit travelled over a 460 ft swing bridge which is welded together for the race weekend and is one of its main features. The circuit also included a winding last sector which was a challenge for most rookies who raced there. The most common overtaking spots were Turn 12 which was after a long straight and Turn 17 which was also after a long straight. Occasionally, you would find drivers making an overtake into Turn 2 or the Turn 25 hairpin.