So. How was it for you? With the Spanish Grand Prix number two (or as it was referred to, the European Grand Prix) over, what was your initial impression? I know that the Spaniards who turned up went away unhappy as Mr. Bad Personality, Fernando Alonso, was out on lap uno. Oh well, I wasn’t unhappy to see his retirement. But that’s not the point. The fact of the matter is that this track turned into just another street circuit. There was very little passing, and very little excitement. In fact, the only real excitement came from the normally Mr. No Excitement, Kimi Raikonnen. First he went on to not pay attention to the light system in the pits and run over three of his pit crew, and on the very next lap, went and spectacularly destroyed his engine.
The race was a big grand slam for winner Felipe Massa though. I’m sure his 10,000 euro fine won’t even phase his happy mood. That will be one check he will write out with a grin on his face. He completed the Grand Prix Grand Slam by winning pole on Saturday and then setting fast lap and winning the race on Sunday. He is now only six points behind title leader Lewis Hamilton heading into Spa-Francorchamps in two weeks, and as we all know, anything can happen there.
The race itself, though was fairly predictable. There was very little passing, and it seemed like the crowd was almost non-existent after Fred left the building. I like how the race turned out, of course, but I am not sure that this is the way forward for F1. Having two F1 venues in one country is not a good idea. But that is the subject for another day. Back to the race. It seemed like a big processional out there behind Massa. He led from the start and was only relegated to as far back as fourth following his pit stops. He dominated the race just like he did three weeks ago and should, hopefully, continue to dominate until the end of the season in Brazil. Now wouldn’t that be a party!
The street race in Valencia will be a fixture on the calendar for a couple more years I’m sure, but I believe that the track holds no lasting value. It is too boring. Even most of the European Press agrees with me (and yes, I wrote this before that story was published). I was very excited before the weekend began, but after watching the race, it really left me feeling cold. The race track has no personality, and there was nothing to hold me glued to the TV except for Massa. If this is the way that this circuit is going to be, then I say ditch it, lick your wounds and bring some F1 back to the States, so everyone here can show Bernie what he is missing out on.
I’m sorry Valencia, but I am not the biggest fan of your Grand Prix. My mind has moved on and I am ready for the classic speed and unpredictability that only a true Old Style Grand Prix Circuit like Spa can provide.