Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel: Overtaking in Valencia is risky
By Berthold Bouman
Sebastian Vettel, current Formula One World Champion and winner of this year’s Bahrain Grand Prix, thinks overtaking on the Valencia street circuit is risky. “In Valencia, we drive an average of more than 200kph, which means it’s one of the fastest street circuits in Formula One. Overtaking is possible, but only with some risk,” said Vettel.
And he further explained, “The reason is that the air turbulence created by cars driving closely behind each other doesn’t disappear as it normally would due to the high walls around the track; you lose grip and, in some extreme cases, you have to lift the throttle. The start-finish straight in Valencia is special because it‘s not very long, it turns into a fast right corner which we take at 290kph.”
And his team colleague Mark Webber knows the risks, as he had a ‘hardcore’ crash on the Valencia circuit in 2010 when he collided with Heikki Kovalainen. The Australian’s car went up high in the air, flipped and miraculously landed on all four wheels again, only to crash hard into the tyre wall. Webber was unhurt and last year took revenge by finishing in third place.
Asked about this year’s race Webber said, “Obviously it’s very difficult to predict how we might go in Valencia, as we’ve clearly seen with seven winners and plenty of different podiums.
Our main goal is to improve our positions in both championships, so personally for me in the Drivers’ Championship and of course the team is looking to keep a good margin in the Constructors’. I know everyone in Milton Keynes has been working incredibly hard in between the two races.”
The European Grand Prix at the Valencia street circuit has been won by Vettel for Red Bull in 2010 and in 2011, and is therefore one of the favourites this weekend.