Valencia Heads for Formula 1 Success in the Wake of America’s Cup Glory
October 4th, 2006
Valencia which will host the 32nd edition of Sailing’s America’s Cup later this year has let it be known that the city intends to play host to a Formula 1 Grand Prix in the near future.
Onlookers were left in no doubt when McLaren Mercedes chose the city to launch their car for 2007 the MP4-22. The reigning World Champion Fernando Alonso was greeted by over 250,000 ecstatic fans as he launched the new McLaren Mercedes at the city’s spectacular “City of The Sciences Complex”. An improvised circuit of 3.5 kms was created around the City of The Sciences with the aid of the Valencian government both to showcase the MP4-22 and the city of Valencia to the international sporting press.
Bernie Ecclestone has let it be known for some time that he is looking for a city circuit similar to that of Monaco so as to add a bit of variety to the Formula 1 calendar. Valencia sees itself very much in the mould of Monaco, only bigger. Once the preparations for this years America’s Cup are completed, the city’s marina renamed the “Royal Juan Carlos 1st Marina of Valencia” will surpass the Med’s biggest marina sizewise which is presently Monaco.
The prestigious Formula 1 architect Herman Tilke was noticeable by his presence in Valencia last week. He was responsible for the design of the Malaysian, Bahrain, Shanghai and Istanbul circuits. If Formula 1 is to come to Valencia in the near future, then Mr. Tilke will have a key role to play in the design of the street circuit which Bernie Ecclestone is looking for.
Speaking to the media Mr. Ecclestone let it be known that the ball is firmly in the court of the Valencian government. If this is the case, then Formula 1 will come to Valencia; it only being a question of when.
The Valencian government has proved itself more than capable in the recent past of attracting world class sporting events to the city. It paid €90 million to bring the America’s Cup to the city and will undoubtedly play a significant role in attempting to bring the Champions League Final to the city in 2010 something the owner of Valencia Football Club, Mr. Juan Soler intends to do so as to inaugurate the club’s new stadium (expected to be completed in 2009).
A debate has started in the city as to whether it would be better to stage the event at the city’s racing track in Cheste just outside the city. Bernie Ecclestone left the local media in no doubt as to his choice of venue : “If we do anything in Valencia it will be an urban circuit”. Mr. Ecclestone professed a deep love of Valencia and let it be known that he sees Valencia becoming one of the Mediterranean’s principal points of reference.
All of this is of course great news for all Valencian Property owners, especially those who own property in the city’s most sought after areas. The more exposure the city gets on the world stage, the greater the cachet that will attach to its prime property.