Formula One returns back to its home ground of Europe with the European GP at Valencia. The Street Circuit took its voyage with F1 since 2008 and has the privilege of its Nation’s second race on the calender year.
In the wake of two street circuits, Valencia is yet another one but it is different in many ways. Like Monaco and Montreal, overtaking implies adopting risk, but the walls are not as close as in the aforementioned tracks.
Moreover, the walls are a bit high and affects drivers while tucking behind another driver. As air turbulence is high due to the steep walls, the following driver loses grip and certainly lap times.
Unlike Albert Park, Monaco and Montreal the track opens up in the final part and has very high top speed in excess of 295kph while approaching turn 1 right hander. The start/finish straight is not so long and cars can hit average speed of 200kph which makes it one of the fastest streets out there.
As the track is used once an year, it has every probability to evolve throughout the weekend. Th surface is very smooth and it has kerbs not very high. Air and track temperatures could exceed high and it has significant influence on the soft and medium tyres Pirelli opted to run.
The track needs sufficient amount of high downforce to cope with the slow and medium corners. Brake stability and traction demands optimised car set-up as the whole weekend is going to be another scorcher. The track has more corners than Montreal but the straight-line speeds are almost the same.
Seven slow speed corners with speeds minimum of 100kph and the cars brake from over 285 kph to under 100 kph on five different parts around the circuit. F1 rolls on to a third consecutive street circuit in four weeks and Pirelli believes the race would be pretty much straightforward.
The heat would take its toll on rear tyres and two or three stop strategies are expected from the teams on top.