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Majorca in bid for European GP as Valencia promises 'changes'

Proposed changes to the unpopular Valencia Street Circuit in an effort to boost overtaking could be too little, too late if claims of a new bid to stage the European Grand Prix in Majorca bear fruition...
The organisers behind the European Grand Prix might have promised 'changes' to the layout of the unpopular Valencia Street Circuit in a bid to boost overtaking opportunities in future editions, but their efforts could be too little, too late if speculation of an as-yet-not-built circuit in Majorca supplanting it prove to carry some weight.

It has emerged that despite having asserted that Valencia is now 'a home for us' and 'another Monaco' [see separate story – click here], over the course of the 2010 European Grand Prix weekend, F1 commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone reportedly met with officials from the largest of the Balearic Islands to discuss the possibility of moving the race to a new, medium-to-high-speed 5.8km track there scheduled to be completed by 2013.

The initiative is under the guidance of Joan Jaume Mulet, mayor of the Llucmajor municipality, and Spanish architects Biel Arbona and Mateo Palmer have been recruited to work on the project, with Federico Gastaldi – the man who helped to briefly return Argentina to the sport's calendar in the mid-1990s – acting as an intermediary in the talks with Ecclestone's Formula One Management (FOM) company. Ferrari is similarly understood to be in support of the new 'Circuit of the Balearic Islands'.

Valencia promoter Valmor Sport, meanwhile, has revealed that it is considering modifying three corners of the Valencia Street Circuit as it endeavours to improve the spectacle and facilitate passing manoeuvres, with organisers due to meet with F1 drivers at Silverstone ahead of next weekend's British Grand Prix to run over the proposed alterations.

“We want to apply changes and will listen to the drivers,” explained Valmor president Jorge Martinez Aspar. “We are looking at a series of small changes to some parts of the track – three in particular – to see if it will give more overtaking."

Aspar also confessed that he was puzzled as to how the glass bottle that provoked such concern by appearing in the middle of the circuit in last weekend's race had come to be where it was, contending: “If someone had thrown it, it would be broken. This is something to be avoided, but it can happen anywhere.”

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Alan D - Unregistered

July 02, 2010 1:28 PM

Each country should have one, and only one, Grand Prix. There are enough countries which would like to stage GPs and the calendar is already very full so there is no reason for Spain to have two GPs. I am in favour of using the European GP as a roving GP, being awarded to interesting tracks for one year only, e.g. Donington, Hockenheim/Nurburgring, Estoril. I'm totally opposed to the idea that Bernie can give a long term contract to a circuit and call it the "European GP". Maybe next he'll drop Spa off the calendar so he can include both Valencia as the Euopean GP and Majorca as the Mediterranean GP. Choose tracks by quality, not by Bernie's wallet.

race fan - Unregistered

July 03, 2010 11:59 AM

Oh, please, another urban circuit devoid of complete interest. Stop this madness now! Ditch Valencia (another Monaco? Really? Well, I guess, Monaco without the glamour, the yachts, the millionaires, the supermodels, the scenery, sure, if we overlook that Valencia is just like Monaco! Really, that is just daft, a good part of the circuit goes through warehouses and hangars in a bleeping dock area of a port, how in the hell can that be "another Monaco"?) and ditch Mallorca, and go to Portimao, its a beautiful interesting circuit, much better than the snorefests Tilke comes uo with. I've been there last year for the WSBK and its just brilliant. And the weather is the same as Spain. Win win.

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