August 20, 2008

Valencia, Grand Prix of Europe 2008

Valencia will be the sixth different venue for a Grand Prix in Spain. The very first first Spanish Grand Prix was run on a street circuit in Pedralbes, Barcelona in 1951. Juan Manuel Fangio won in an Alfa Romeo.

More after the jump

Jarama, in Madrid, followed from 1968 and on and off up to 1981. It was a circuit were passing was near impossible. The now popular "Trulli Train" was in fact perfected in 1981 by Gilles Villeneuve at this Spanish circuit.

Montjuïc in Barcelona was a very challenging track, in part very fast but also with a very tight technical section that made car setup not easy. Track safety was atrocious and in 1975 five spectators were killed when the rear wing on Rolf Stommelen's Hill-Lola snapped off. That was the end of that track.

Jerez de la Frontera in the south of Spain, was the next venue. In 1997 it was here where one of the classic Michael Schumacher brain fade moments occurred when he turned in on Jacques Villeneuve. It's a bit in the middle of nowhere and not easy to get to, probably the real reason it got canned from the F1 calendar though the official one was that some local government official presented the wrong trophy at that 1997 race. Because of the nice winter climate, the track is used for testing.

Finally, Montmel├│ at the Circuit de Catalunya. Once, when cars were not so sensitive to wake turbulence, racing could be more exciting at this track. A perfect example was the duel between Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna. Hopefully the coming aero regulations will bring some sanity back to Formula 1, or at least the possibility of some creative driving!

Now Valencia, a street circuit none of the drivers has seen. With twenty five corners and a very long straight, projected speeds in the 200mph range and as you can see from the on-board shots below, quite wide in places, It should make for an interesting week end.


  1. Geez. Those concrete walls remind me of Detroit, Dallas, Vegas.

    Isn't it possible to create a new street circuit without turning it into a topless, feature barren tunnel?

  2. I think VAlencia should look a bit different with them crossing over a bridge and that long straight...

  3. It's the first time in my life that I see some tv-footage of the pedralbes circuit. I always know about its existence, and have seen many photos, but never any video. Even it's just a minute, it's amazing I really love it. Thanks

    Greetings from an 20yr old car lover from Barcelona


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