Despite the FIA leaning towards more and more street circuits in previous years, the Valencia circuit has almost assuredly seen its last race. Disregarded and abandoned after being left off the 2013 Formula 1 calendar, a Spanish paper La Marca is reporting that the modern and purpose-built facility has fallen into a state of disrepair.
The swing bridge, the billion dollar architectural staple of the track, has now been occupied by vagrants and looters have stripped the facility of any valuable equipment remaining, including electrical equipment and wiring from light poles. The pavement of the 3.367 mile track is now disheveled and unusable in its current state.
Built for the 2008 season, the circuit’s inaugural race was won from pole by Felipe Massa. The 2012 race was won by Fernando Alonso in unspectacular fashion. The common trait of all Grand Prix’s at this circuit was the lack of overtaking and exciting clean racing on track, which prevented the circuit from becoming both a fan and financial favorite.
Amongst the things that plagued the track where lack of open turns, resulting in incredibly drawn out fields with minimal passing down the long straightaways. As a result of the tight turns clean passes where minimal, while avoidable contact was at a visible high. Since its inception, drivers and fans alike have complained about the lack of overtaking and abundance of run-off areas that have hindered the circuit from any epic battles. The FIA realized this, and despite attempts to improve the competitive nature of the racetrack including adding DRS zones, the racing never truly improved. According to vivaf1.com, 22 of the 27 passes from the 2011 race where aided by DRS.
In the end, there will be no memories of this track aside from its beautiful architecture. There were no truly epic battles, no truly dramatic moments, just moments in otherwise astounding seasons. The stands themselves will be empty, and the fans will continue to flock to Catalunya, but Valencia will always have its place in F1 history, alongside other grandiose track failures that plague this generation of the sport.
Follow Mike Guzman on Twitter @mike486