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Europe 2012 - Race information // Everything you need to know about the European Grand Prix

Published by Christine

After some exciting and rather unpredictable races so far this year, Formula One turns to Valencia to play host to the next round of the 2012 championship. The Spanish circuit has a name for providing processional races, but predicting anything this season is impossible, no matter how dull the track. Place your bets then, on whether we'll see that fabled eighth winner this weekend, or whether it will be a familiar face who tames the streets of Valencia.

Event schedule

Lewis Hamilton won the previous race in Canada, with two surprise podium visitors in Sergio Pérez and Romain Grosjean. The McLaren driver is on a high going into this weekend, leading the championship ahead of the consistent Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, who is starting to make some significant progress forward. The three battled for the lead around Montreal, will they do the same this weekend?

Session Timetable
DateDaySessionGMT +0100Local
22 JunFridayFree Practice 110:0009:00
Free Practice 214:0013:00
23 JunSaturdayFree Practice 311:0010:00
Qualifying14:0013:00
24 JunSundayGrand Prix14:0013:00

Support racing for this event includes GP2, GP3, and Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.

The weather

Five day forecasts show some beautifully hot weather coming up in Valencia, so the beaches will no doubt be packed. We've seen some of the glorious blue skies through the photos filtering back on Twitter, and although some clouds will get into the mix, it doesn't look like there is anything but sunshine ahead for race day. It's a bit of a shame, as we could have used some rain to mix things up!

moderate

Valencia, Friday

25℃

  • Low 19℃
  • Humidity 67%

Partly cloudy

clear

Valencia, Saturday

28℃

  • Low 20℃
  • Humidity 60%

Sunshine

moderate

Valencia, Sunday

29℃

  • Low 20℃
  • Humidity 58%

Partly cloudy

Circuit map

Sidepodcast image
DRS Zones
DRS detection132m before Turn 8
DRS activation215m after Turn 10

Just the single DRS zone for this coming weekend, and if there is anywhere that it might come in handy, it's Valencia. We've seen processional racing here a few times before, and the track is so long that field spread can be an issue.

However, if a driver does manage to close up behind another, and has the pace to pass, the DRS zone - situated at the top end of the circuit, should make a difference.

The circuit

Circuit Data
NameValencia Street Circuit
LocationValencia
TimezoneGMT +0200
First Race2008
Laps57
Length5.419 km
Distance308.883 km
Start / Finish Offset0.000 km

The circuit has not changed much from 2011, with just some artificial grass replacements. Last year we saw the turf coming loose from the ground and causing a problem during several of the sessions. This year, a more hardy product has been put in place, in the hopes that it will stay where it is meant to!

Valencia is a supremely long track, with four straights but a multitude of corners to go with them. The balance between top speed and balance around an apex will be key to getting a fast car, and qualifying will be crucial to retaining a good position during the race.

Both Monaco and Canada have featured one stop strategies, but the best predictions suggest that will not work around the streets of Valencia. The abrasive track surface is likely to wear the rubber down quicker and that may add a new dimension to the strategy choices - both in qualifying and the race - that teams and drivers have to make.

2011 Results
SessionDriverTeamTimeLinks
Free Practice 1Mark WebberRed Bull1:40.403Live / Results
Free Practice 2Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:37.969Live / Results
Free Practice 3Sebastian VettelRed Bull1:37.258Live / Results
QualifyingSebastian VettelRed Bull1:36.975Live / Results
Grand PrixSebastian VettelRed Bull1:39:36.169Live / Results
Fastest LapSebastian VettelRed Bull1:41.852

Tyre compounds

Soft and medium compounds
Soft and medium compounds

Pirelli have opted to go back to the soft and medium compounds for this weekend, after two races on the softer compounds. As mentioned above, this may affect the strategies that we see this weekend, and Pirelli's motorsport boss has more:

We are expecting a fairly straightforward race, with either two or three stops depending on which tactics the teams use – although one team tried a one-stopper last year as well. The weather should be consistently warm throughout the weekend, which should lead to fewer variables in terms of temperature, so there probably won’t be many big surprises to emerge.

- Paul Hembery

Press conference schedule

Official press conferences are organised by the FIA and happen four times during the weekend. The qualifying and post race press conferences will take place after the television unilateral interviews.

Press Conference Schedule
DayLocalAttendeeRepresenting
Thursday15:00Fernando AlonsoFerrari
Pedro de la RosaHRT
Lewis HamiltonMcLaren
Kamui KobayashiSauber
Heikki KovalainenCaterham
Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso
Friday16:00Riad AsmatCaterham
Éric BoullierLotus
Norbert HaugMercedes
Luis Pérez-SalaHRT
Franz TostToro Rosso
SaturdayPost qualifyingThree fastest drivers
SundayPost raceFirst three finishing drivers

Race stewards

The FIA stewarding process was changed last year to include a former F1 driver to give added insight. These are the stewards overseeing this weekend's action.

F1 Stewards
NamePosition
Garry ConnellyExecutive Committee Member of the FIA Institute and Director of Australian Institute of Motor Sport Safety
Paolo LongoniMember of the Italian Sport Commission
Mika SaloFormer F1 driver and double Le Mans GT2 class winner

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