Valencia street circuit facts & stats
Spain is the only country to feature twice on the 2012 world championship calendar. Six weeks after the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, it’s the turn of Valencia to host the European Grand Prix.
The Valencia street circuit has been home to the European Grand Prix since 2008, using public roads around the city’s America’s Cup marina. Car set-up is a delicate balance between low-speed grip and traction through the track’s tortuous 25 corners, while maintaining good straight-line speed. The cars exceed 300km/h four times on the lap, and on each occasion they have to slow for a first or second gear corner. As a result, brakewear needs to be monitored closely.
Pirelli is taking its Medium and Soft compound tyres to Valencia, a combination that was last used at the Bahrain Grand Prix. In the heat of the desert, tyre wear proved critical back in April and similarly high ambient and track temperatures are expected in Spain as well.
McLaren has won the European Grand Prix four times, but never at Valencia. Lewis Hamilton has finished second there on three occasions (2008, ’09 and ’10).
Race distance 57 laps (191.919 miles/308.883km)
Start time 14:00 (local)/12:00 GMT
Circuit length 3.367 miles/5.419km
2011 winner Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing) 57 laps in 1hr39m36.169s (186.068km/h)
2011 pole Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing) 1m36.975s (201.169km/h)
Lap record Timo Glock (Toyota TF104) 1m38.683s (197.687km/h)
McLaren at the European Grand Prix
Wins 4 (1984, 1993, 1997, 2007)
Poles 3 (2000, 2003, 2009)
Fastest laps 4 (1993, 1999, 2003, 2010)
Car 3: Jenson Button
Age 32 (January 19 1980)
2012 points 45 (8th)
Europe record 2011 Q6 R6; 2010 Q7 R3; 2009 Q5 R7; 2008 Q16 R13; 2007 Q17 R-; 2006 Q6 R-; 2005 Q13 R10; 2004 Q5 R3; 2003 Q12 R7; 2002 Q8 R5; 2001 Q20 R13; 2000 Q11 R10
“Canada was just one of those weekends where things didn’t come together – after some difficult races, I really needed the track time on Friday to find a clearer direction with the set-up, and, unfortunately, that didn’t happen due to a number of technical issues.
“And I think that set the tone for the rest of the weekend: we lacked the data we needed to tackle the race and we struggled. Still, there were important lessons to be learned from those issues, and we addressed everything back at MTC once we’d returned from Canada in a bid to get a clearer direction for Valencia next weekend. A day like that is enormously productive and I think we covered a lot of ground.
“The last few races haven’t delivered the results I’d like, but there are still 13 races to go. We’ve had seven different winners and no clear championship leader has emerged, so I’ll be looking to get a decent result under my belt next weekend in order to get my title bid back on track.
“I know just how strong Vodafone McLaren Mercedes can be. Valencia is a track I really enjoy; I’ve already won on a street circuit this year so I’m definitely optimistic about having a great weekend and picking up the momentum again in the title fight.”
Car 4: Lewis Hamilton
Age 27 (January 7 1985)
2012 points 88 (1st)
Europe record 2011 Q3 R4; 2010 Q3 R2; 2009 Q1 R2; 2008 Q2 R2; 2007 Q10 R9
“My win in Montreal was obviously an extremely satisfying moment for me – but, actually, it does very little to alter things in the world championship.
“Firstly, while it’s always pleasing to be leading the championship, I’m only two points ahead of Fernando