Home  //  Circuit Guides Formula 1 Not on the current F1 calendar Europe (Valencia)
Written by @Damien_Marquez   
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 19:01

Why go?

The Valencia Street Circuit is a bit of a curiosity. Designed to create exciting racing around the marina which hosted the 32nd America's Cup yachts, its sweeping bends (which can be driven flat out between the concrete walls) have provided very little overtaking as far as F1 is concerned, making this grand prix quite a forgettable one to watch on TV. The lack of luxury yachts in the harbour has also failed to recreate the magic and glitter of Monaco or Singapore.

Despite all this, spectators flock in high numbers (85,000 in 2011) and it gives the race an atmosphere (albeit Alonso biased) other Tilke designed Formula 1 tracks would relish. The city is enjoyable, easily accessible, the event is well organised and the weather is usually (very) warm and sunny at the end of June. The venue is also easily reached by public transport. These ingredients make it a perfect race to attend for a first grand prix experience, as well as for anyone in need of F1 live, coupled with a European city break or as part of a bigger holiday.

Grandstand P5 (Image: MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team)

 

Contents:

1. Location and access
2. Money matters
3. Ticket prices
4. Which grandstand to choose
5. How spectators rate this event
6. Tips & recommendations
7. GrandPrixAdvisor fixes for 2012
8. Useful websites for your Valencia trip

 

1. Location and access

Valencia Airport is well connected to the rest of Europe, mostly via low-cost carriers. The Metrovalencia network links the airport and city to the track (Neptu on Line 6 for grandstands M1-M4 or Francisco Cubells on lines 5 and 6 for all other grandstands).

One the Marina grandstands will be moored between Turns 3 and 4.
(Image: MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team)

 

2. Money matters

Return airfares from (within a week of the event):
- London $550 / £350 / €450
- Frankfurt $800 / £500 / €650
- New York $1600 / £1000 / €1300
- Singapore $2100 / £1300 / €1600
- Tokyo $3000 / £1900 / €2400
- Sydney $3500 / £2200 / €2800

Accommodation (double room for 4 nights) from $450 / £300 / €350

Food and drinks (per adult for 4 days): from $200 / £100 / €150

 

3. Ticket prices

3-day tickets:
- $1000 / £700 / €850 for the Marina grandstands (full weekend only - see link below)
- $800 / £500 / €600 for P1 and P2 (full weekend and Sunday only)
- $600 / £400 / €450 for P4
- $500 / £350 / €400 for P5
- $450 / £300 / €350 for P3
- $400 / £250 / €300 for M1 and M6
- $300 / £200 / €250 for M4, G1 and G2
- $250 / £150 / €200 for M7, N2 and N4
- $200 / £100 / €150 for GRAO Balcony (unreserved seating - full weekend only)

Sunday tickets:
- $700 / £400 / €550 for P1 and P2 (full weekend and Sunday only)
- $500 / £350 / €400 for P4
- $450 / £300 / €350 for P5
- $400 / £250 / €300 for P3
- $300 / £200 / €250 for M1 and M6
- $250 / £150 / €200 for M4, G1 and G2
- $200 / £150 / €150 for M7, N2 and N4

Saturday tickets:
- $200 / £150 / €150 for P3, P4 and P5
- $150 / £100 / €100 for M1, M4, M6, G1 and G2
- $100 / £65 / €75 for M7, N2 and N4

Friday tickets:
- $55 / £35 / €40 for P3, P4 and P5
- $40 / £25 / €30 for M1, M4, M6, G1 and G2
- $35 / £20 / €25 for M7, N2 and N4

Please note there is no general admission.

(Picture: Valmor Sports S.L.)

4. Which grandstand to choose?

Being a street circuit, the view from most grandstands is rather similar and one dimensional. It is worth noting all grandstands have a video wall opposite.

GrandPrixAdvisor.com order of preference:

01/ M1
02/ P5
03/ M6
04/ P2
05/ P1
06/ P4
07/ G1
08/ N2
09/ M7
10/ G2
11/ P3
12/ M4
13/ N4

Choose P1 and P2 for the start/finish and pit lane. These are the only two grandstands covered, which is worth considering with temperatures generally above 35C. Be aware of the Santander bridge that will obstruct your view of Turn 1. Top team garages are in front of P2 whereas P1 faces those of the smaller teams. (See image below.)

P3 and P4 are for the start and pit lane exit. First corner action is minimal as Turn 1 is a long curve taken flat out. Seats above row 5 will also have the view of the grid and pit lane obscured by the Santander/Telefonica bridge. Seating at the top of P4 will however allow you to see above the bridge.

P5 is for the first hard braking zone. Try to get a seat in sections 3 or 4 if you want to see cars in Turn 3 and as high as possible for a view above the safety fence (avoid the first three or four rows). M6 also offers the sight of two corners (Turns 8 and 9) with the highest rows seeing over the safety fence. (Check top and bottom images.)

M1 and N2 will be for photo enthusiasts: it is easier to shoot cars accelerating than in braking zones. M1 provides views of Turns 4 and 5 (Turn 6 is obstructed by the bridge) whereas N2 looks over Turn 14 only.

From left to right: grandstands P1 and P2 (Image: MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team)

5. How spectators rate the event

- Access / transportation (to and from the track) - excellent
- Atmosphere - good
- Program / schedule - very good
- Quality of food - good
- Quality of drinks - average
- Quality of Facilities/Amenities - average
- View of track action from seat/etc - good
- View of TV screen from seat/etc - excellent
- Quality of commentary (from track PA/radio) - good
- Availability of current season merchandise - average
- Value for money - good
Overall experience - very good

 

6. Tips & recommendations

Sign posting to the car parks is poor and they fill up quite quickly anyway. Parking + Metro allows you to leave your car free of charge in one of the twelve car parks listed here and travel in air-conditioned carriages to the track. A 10 journey travelcard for zones A and B costs €9.90. A map of the zones can be found here.

Take plenty of sunscreen, but not in a spray bottle as it will be confiscated at the gate.

No recording equipment is allowed inside the circuit - leave your video camera at home and use your smartphone instead.

Facilities close to grandstand P5 were reported as very clean in 2011.

Grandstand P5 (Image: MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team)

7. GrandPrixAdvisor.com fixes for 2012

Help non-Spanish speakers by displaying signage in English and ensure the staff have a decent level of spoken English. F1 is followed worldwide and people travel from all part of the globe to attend grand prix weekends. Having great facilities will not overcome this issue.

Sunscreen bottles and camcorders should be allowed in. The first one is a necessity for anyone who do not have a P1 or P2 ticket. The second one is also a necessity for any hardcore fan.

Spectators expect venues to make money but not to be ripped off. They are happy to spend on more merchandise than available in 2011 instead of being overcharged for food and drinks.

 

8. Useful websites for your Valencia trip

Tickets and information: valenciastreetcircuit.com/en__index.html
Marina grandstand information: valenciastreetcircuit.com/the_marina_grandstand.html
Metrovalencia (public transport): metrovalencia.es/page.php?idioma=_en
Parking + Metro (metrovalencia): metrovalencia.es/wordpress_en/?page_id=233
Metrovalencia zone map: metrovalencia.es/descargas/pdf/ZONAL%202011_680x975_ok.pdf
FanVision (portable TV units with choice of on-board cameras, BBC 5 Live or Sky commentary and statistics): fanvision.com/f1 (Watch our interview for more details.)
General information: www.formula1.com

 

Finally, our thanks go to our two reviewers, @MSCfan (P2 ticket holder) and an anonymous person from Spain, for submitting reviews of their 2011 experience in Valencia.

 

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Grand Prix of Europe spectator guide (Valencia Street Circuit)
 

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