Michael Schumacher had a superb qualifying form in Monaco which the track condition is almost similar to the upcoming race in Valencia Street Circuit. Will he become the 8th different winner this season?
The 2012 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe will be held on 22, 23 and 24 June 2012 at Valencia Street Circuit in Valencia. The circuit length is 5.419 km with a total number of 57 laps which make a race distance of 308.883 km. The circuit is a street circuit designed by Hermann Tilke in a harbour side location like in Monaco and Singapore, winding around the city’s harbour and industrial port. The famous section of the circuit is the 140 metre long swing bridge spanning Valencia’s canal, located between Turn 9 and Turn 10 on the temporary part of the circuit. Just like any typical street circuit, overtaking opportunity in Valencia Street Circuit is considered very few, there were only 4 recorded overtakes since the first race in 2008. Teams have to focus more on qualifying pace to get a good starting position on the grid that can convert into championship points.
The nature of Valencia Street Circuit is analogous to the usual characteristics of a street circuit – tight, twisty and bumpy. There is a total of 25 turns – 14 left-handers and 11 right-handers, which will test the drivers ultimate skills. There are no high speed corners in the circuit and a good straight line speed is vital for the long straights, so a low downforce set up like in Montreal is preferable. The braking demand is quite high like in Bahrain where the cars have to brake from over 300 km/h leading into tight corners. Brake cooling is important so that the brakes can perform under optimum temperature. Drivers also have to avoid locking up tyres under heavy braking at the end of the long straights. P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft tyres will be used here and given the high temperature and speed of the circuit, drivers are able to turn on the tyres quickly.
The new 2012 Pirelli tyres have bring excitement to this F1 season. Currently, we have Lewis Hamilton as the 6th different winner in Montreal. Pirelli expects the teams had made big strides in understanding tyres and will see consistent battle between them. Hamilton thinks that consistency will be the key to winning this world championship while Button is optimistic about having a great weekend and picking up the momentum again in the title fight. Raikkonen will be targeting for winning in Valencia. Schumacher will be heading to Valencia in an optimistic mood.
Lap Record : 1:38.683 – Timo Glock (2009)
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