So after a seemingly endless break we are back with a brand new circuit. There have been a few races testing the circuit but we really are venturing into the unknown with this one.
Because Valencia is a street circuit and near the water people have been thinking of Monaco but that’s probably wrong. It’s more like the old Long Beach circuit as it has several decent straights and 23 corners! For a modern comparator I saw somebody say “Canada with walls”.
Of the 23 corners Charlie Whiting reckons that three of them will be overtaking opportunities. That’s actually quite a lot for F1. Let’s hope he’s right. He’s been keeping himself busy on the break testing the underwater marshals! Because there is a danger a car could go in the water in the Bridge section the FIA have been testing how they would rescue somebody in that situation. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen, but if it could I’m glad they’ve been practicing.
The race should look spectacular to us but to the drivers it might look a bit boring because they will be looking at a lot of concrete at the drivers level. Expect James Allen to get very confused at some point – the only difference this weekend is that we’ll probably be just as confused.
So what about the race? The track looks to work better on the hard tyres which may well favour the McLarens. And if you were going to pick one driver out of them all who seems to learn circuits the fastest you would have to say it was Lewis Hamilton. He looks the man to beat this weekend. I’m sure the Alonso fans for whome this circuit was built will be thrilled.