Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Missing a trick - Better places to host a race than a dockyard

Published by Mr. C

City of Arts and Sciences

There's been much consternation on this site and elsewhere around the web, relating to the various merits of the latest addition to the Formula 1 calendar. A couple of criticisms levelled at the Valencian street circuit is that it featured way to much concrete, didn't produce particularly close racing and was nothing but a let down after all the pre-race hype built around the event.

However, it wasn't until I read today's race round-up from Axis of Oversteer that I realised where Bernie and the organisers had gone wrong.

Back when McLaren were after a sensational launch platform for their 2007 challenger, they chose the city of Valencia as the place to do it, and specifically the area known as Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències. With it's stunning architecture and liquid landscapes the region provided a unique backdrop for the launch. Toyota also found a use for the area when they ran their cars around the white concrete streets earlier this year.

Sadly, when Bernie decided he wanted a race in the very same city, he chose the dockyard.

Toyota in the Dock

It just doesn't have the same appeal does it?

I understand the reasoning behind such a decision, not least that it may not even be possible to run a race around the City of Arts and Sciences, but I can't help feeling an opportunity was missed somewhere between the conception of this project and its realisation.

A 25 turn race track, situated on the coast of the Mediterranean should have been enough to make for a fantastic weekend of racing. Instead we got a view reminiscent of shipyards on the Tyne and a 100 minute procession that felt like the Hungarian GP we were expecting three weeks ago.