Forgotten F1 Circuits: The Valencia Street Circuit

VALENCIA, SPAIN - JUNE 24: Sebastian Vettel (R) of Germany and Red Bull Racing leads the field at the start of the European Grand Prix at the Valencia Street Circuit on June 24, 2012 in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Sebastian Vettel // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI201412168783 // Usage for editorial use only //

As F1 continues to grow its global reach, certain circuits are replaced. In this new series, we start with the Valencia Street Circuit.

The Valencia Street Circuit was a track located in Valencia, Spain which played host to the European Grand Prix from 2008 to 2012. It was due to host the Spanish Grand Prix alongside Circuit de Barcelona from 2013 onwards. However, due to vandalism and lack of maintenance of the track the decision was made to close the circuit in 2012.

  • Location: Valencia, Spain 
  • Track Length: 5.419 kilometres ( 3.367 miles) 
  • Number of Turns: 25
  • Lap Record: 1:38.683 (Timo Glock, Toyota, 2009) 
  • First Race: 2008 European Grand Prix 
  • Last Race: 2012 European Grand Prix 

Circuit History

Felipe Massa won the first race at the circuit in 2008 with a lights-to-flag victory. It was his 100th race in Formula 1. Rubens Barrichello won the second edition of the race after overcoming McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton. In 2010 the race was won by Sebastian Vettel. He managed to get an easy win with only Hamilton putting up any resistance after Kobayashi held up the majority of the field after an accident. The incident involved Mark Webber and Kovalainen. Webber attempted to pass Kovalainen but misjudged the Lotus driver’s braking and positioning for the next corner. He flew over the top of the Lotus and came to a halt at the barrier.

In 2011, Vettel won once again from the pole. No drivers retired from the race and the event set a record for the most finishers in a race. In the final year, Fernando Alonso won from 11th on the grid while pole-sitter Vettel retired with an alternator failure. Kimi Raikkonen joined him on the podium after overtaking Hamilton who collided with Maldonado.  Schumacher got the first podium of his comeback, coming from 11th with less than 15 laps to go. In 2013, it was reported that thieves had stripped all of the valuables from the circuit buildings. The track area now resembles a ghost town.

Track Layout

The circuit had only one layout, a tight and twisty 25-corner street circuit with few straights. The street circuit traveled over a 460 ft swing bridge which is welded together for the race weekend and was one of its main features. The circuit also included a winding last sector which was a challenge for most rookies. The most common overtaking spots were turns 12 and 17 which were both after long straights. Occasionally you would find drivers making an overtake into turn 2 or the turn 25 hairpin. 

Event History

Year  Winning Driver  Winning Constructor  Event 
2008 Felipe Massa  Ferrari  European Grand Prix 
2009 Rubens Barrichello  Brawn-Mercedes  European Grand Prix 
2010 Sebastian Vettel  Red Bull Renault  European Grand Prix 
2011 Sebastian Vettel  Red Bull Renault  European Grand Prix 
2012  Fernando Alonso  Ferrari  European Grand Prix 
 Featured Image Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images