F1 News, Views and Reviews

European Grand Prix Preview 2009

The European GP comes after a 4 week break for Formula One and it feels like centuries.  With the whole saga of “will he, wont he?2 with Michael Schumacher, I cannot wait for the 11th round of the season to GO!GO!GO!.

The Track

Although Valencia has a permanent racing facility used mostly for motorbike racing and occassional F1 testing, the organisers of this event decided to build a new street circuit around the historic harbour area.

Debuting last season it looked like a very fast track, and indeed was.  However the circuit appeared to be in the middle of a building site with high concrete walls, little or no views and a poor turnout.

It’s long sweeping back straight and the preceeding bridge are two of the best bits of what is otherwise a disappointingly dull circuit.

 

A Lap of the Track

 

Pre-Event Thoughts

Jenson Button (Brawn) "It’s going to be great to get back racing again after the summer break and everyone at the team is looking forward to Valencia.  There’s been a lot of work going on at the factory following our shutdown and with the cars at the front being so close at the moment, it will be an interesting weekend."

Luca Badoer (Ferrari) "I have a good impression and it’s obvious that there’s a difficult task waiting for me at Valencia.  The first race will help me to get back into the rhythm of a Formula 1 weekend. I haven’t set myself any goals, just to end the race."

Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) "We got a good result in Hungary, which allowed us to climb back on the third place in the Constructors’ Championship. This is the team’s realistic goal for the final part of the season.   Last year I didn’t end the race at Valencia caused by an engine failure. So this year I want to return and maybe even gain a place on the podium. This is our realistic goal, although we know that it will be difficult."

Fernando Alonso (Renault) "Racing at home is always special and Valencia is a beautiful city and a great place to have a race.  I’ve always enjoyed racing on street circuits as they have a special atmosphere and the whole city gets involved in the race.  Also, as it’s a home race for me I know that there will be amazing support from the fans and I really want to reward them with a good result. As I’ve said, I would love to fight for the podium, but the main priority is to score points this weekend."

Pre-Event Photos

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