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Track Notes – Valencia

By Mav | 21 Jun 2011 | One Comment | 2,430 views

The name ’street circuit’ conjures up images of a ‘tight’, ‘twisty’, ’slow’ circuit with ‘minimal overtaking’. However, whilst the Valencia Street Circuit partially rewrites the book on three of those counts, it’s produced little overtaking since the track appeared on the calendar. Valencia Street Circuit winds around a harbour and across a dynamic-looking swing bridge, which is welded shut, forcing yacht captains to get their berths in the harbour before the track action begins.

Over the three races held previously on the circuit, Valencia has produced the highest finish rate of any circuit on the calendar with almost 90% of cars reaching the chequered flag. Despite the lack of run-off, the lack of accidents has meant that the safety car only being called into use once – memorably for Mark Webber’s airborne escapade.
 
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Spain’s second race on the calendar is fast, sweeping and wide with drivers reaching top speeds in excess of 300kph (186 mph) at the end of the main straight. As with any street circuit, there are more bumps than on a purpose built track, and the first proper corner – Turn 2 – is made trickier by being both bumpy and tight.

The next stretch is rather stop-start in nature down to Turn 8, with the emphasis on traction rather than aerodynamic grip. Between Turns 10 and 12 the cars run flat-out for 12 seconds. There are 25 corners in total, which make this circuit physically challenging over the course of 57 laps, and it’s easy to make a mistake. Due to its coastal location, a strong sea breeze can cause balance problems.

Engine demand:               Mechanical retirements:    6.3%
Tyre wear:           Accident retirements:    6.3%
Brake demand:           First Lap retirements:    0.0%
Downforce level:           Safety car deployments:    0.33 per race

Top speed:     306 km/h (190 mph)
Average speed:     225 km/h (140 mph)
Pitlane loss:     12.7 s
Pitlane length:     240 m
Gear changes per lap:     66
Time at full-throttle:     59%
Time under braking:     16%
Fuel effect:     0.06 s per lap of fuel
Fuel consumption:     2.34 kg per 5 km
Tyre allocation:     Medium (white) / Soft (yellow)

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Retirements and safety car deployments based on last five years.
Retirements are a percentage of all cars starting the race.
Accident retirements covers accidents, collisions and drivers spun out of the race
Other data courtesy of AT&T Williams F1, Lotus Renault GP, Pirelli Tyres and Brembo Brakes

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