Valencia preview: Tougher than it looks

Valencia preview: Tougher than it looks

The Valencia street track does not have a great reputation, but in our preview Edd Straw argues that it's not as straightforward as it might appear - and this weekend's race won't be either

The clue was in the name. When the Valencia Street Circuit joined the Formula 1 calendar in 2008, there were hopes that it would become a kind of 'Diet Monaco'. It had the ingredients – the America's Cup harbour, a place on the edge of a wonderful city to visit and a track configuration that was unusually quick for its type. But the mundane moniker should have warned us that this would be a circuit seriously lacking in charisma.

That first year, with a paltry number of boats in the harbour and a processional race that was won by Felipe Massa, pretty much set the tone. In 2008, the environs of the track were unimpressive with derelict buildings, the odd random pile of rubble and the feel of a decayed shipyard pervading. That first year, most gave it the benefit of the doubt, but since then little has changed.

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