Column: What went wrong at Valencia?

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The street circuit at Valencia has everything to ensure an exciting Grand Prix, but this weekend it didn't deliver. There was hardly any overtaking and the race was one of the most boring one's of the last few years. What went wrong?

We can't point out what exactly went wrong. Everybody expected several safety car periods at the urban circuit, but Bernd Maylander didn't have to leave the pits with his Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG at all. Overtaking should be possible at this street circuit as it is quite wide and offers several passing possibilities. During the F3 and GT races in July, we witnessed several nice overtaking manoeuvres ourselves, but the only exciting overtaking action during the Grand Prix came from Williams' Kazuki Nakajima.

Not only the fans and the international media are a bit disappointed, but also the Spanish newspapers criticise the race and track.

'Marca' wrote: "A boring track with hardly any possibilities for overtaking."

Although there has been a lot of criticism after the race, the weekend started good. The drivers were thrilled with the track as they explored it on foot on Thursday. After the free practice sessions on Friday however, they declared that overtaking at this track would be rather difficult.

Christian Klien, the test driver of the BMW Sauber F1 Team, declared to the Credit Suisse e-magazine: "I was actually surprised that it was a relatively boring race in which nothing really happened. In the other categories racing here we saw some really good racing with spectacular overtaking."

Perhaps the organisers of the European Grand Prix should sit down together with Hermann Tilke, who created the circuit, to search for ways to improve overtaking at the circuit for next year's Grand Prix because the wonderful city of Valencia deserves more credit than having a boring urban track.



Written by Iris Goeteyn


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