The speed demons return to the Spanish soil once again for this weekend’s European GP. The circuit at Valencia stretches to 5.419km with 11 right and 14 left handers, one of the places where overtaking prospects are harder despite it having more corners than any where else.
Contested to 57 laps, Sebastian Vettel will be aiming to make it three in a row by becoming the only driver to taste champagne twice on podium’s top ramp. The up and coming Massa has won at the circuit’s first incarnation in 2008 – with no troubles from pole to flag.
His fellow Brazilian, Rubens Barrichello, had an evocative race Sunday in 2009 with Brawn GP by winning the race comfortably. But more notably Lewis Hamilton has been denied from winning thrice as he finished second-best three times.
Mark Webber will certainly believe in his luck as here is where he hoisted his car high up in the air after hitting Heikki in 2010. Though Raikkonen has already been up there on podium for Ferrari, he is yet to register a major statement with his new team.
Fernando Alonso has lost the lead to Hamilton in drivers’ title race, but he doesn’t trail much, so a podium or even a victory may just put him back on to the sweet spot much to the elation of his home fans.
Jenson Button has to put his gremlins away and the team is reported to have working hard to get the details right for the struggling Briton. Sergio Perez bids to do well and he is more likely to be the eighth winner if he can get the qualifying session right.
Renault are sure that the high temperature forecast for Sunday suit their car. Grosjean, despite having less miles on clock than anybody around during the race is in fine form for Valencia. He knows the track very well – won here twice before in GP2.
Mercedes’ drivers are on opposite poles, Rosberg, meanwhile, is one of the consistent drivers on the cards but his team-mate Schumacher has had five DNFs. Brawn plays down new driver line-up for 2013 until Michael decides to stay and for Valencia the team appointed a new chief engineer to look after Michael’s crew.
Another homecoming for HRT and they are optimistic of race finish ahead of their rivals Marussia. Williams, Force India and rejuvenated Sauber will all be trying to qualify within top ten which will narrowly decide the outcome of the race.
Unlike the compounds run for previous street circuits, Pirelli opted to go with soft and medium combination. The deceleration peaks at 5.2g and this will be the last time until 2014 that F1 visit Valencia as Spanish GP is decided to opt between it and Catalunya.
Only one DRS zone unlike last year and it is on the long straight heading down to turn 12, the detection point is between turns seven and eight.