F1 »

Locals oppose Valencia race

What would F1 be without a protest? This weekend's European GP has locals up in arms over disruption to daily life....
Spanish national hero Fernando Alonso has been sent an open letter by disgruntled Valencia residents who oppose the annual upheaval of having the F1 circus arrive on their doorstep.

This weekend's Grand Prix of Europe will be the fifth staged on the street course bordering the city's America's Cup port and, while not producing the best racing of the season, the event provides one of the more evocative backdrops as F1 convinces itself that it is enjoying another 'Monaco weekend'. The race hasn't attracted a full house, partly because it comes just a matter of weeks after F1 begins its European swing in Barcelona, and has yet to be taken to heart by the locals, despite the obvious tourism benefits its brings to the city.

Now, protest group 'Circuit Urbà No' has sent an open letter to Alonso to raise its criticisms, claiming that the event represents 'a cost that is a fantasy in the reach of very few' amid the current financial crisis, and imposes unwanted obstructions on a city attempting to go about its business. F1 promoter Bernie Ecclestone is also accused of preying on the 'delusions of grandeur' held by regional politicians, convincing them to spend vast amounts of money - rumoured to be around €100m - to prepare for and host the race when there is an F1-standard facility just a matter of miles from the city at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, a familiar testing haunt for the F1 fraternity.

The letter suggests that double world champion Alonso 'remove his helmet' to see for himself 'the humiliation, annoyance and provocation' they claim the residents have to suffer as a result of the race, including road closures, traffic diversions affecting not just private vehicles but also public transport, and a ban on access to erstwhile public spaces.

The latter complaint includes the apparent cancellation - much to frustration of several F1 journalists - of the annual San Juan Festival, a beach party of significant proportions which coincides with the grand prix weekend.

This year's Grand Prix of Europe is expected to feature a reduction in grandstand seating due to a smaller take-up of tickets, and could be the last race on the circuit for a couple of years should the proposed Spanish GP 'race share' with Barcelona go ahead. The Circuit de Catalunya, however, hinted that it may be looking to back out of the agreement after securing a tie-up with the city government, which could potentially leave Valencia at the mercy of the various new venues looking to join the schedule, and the desire to reduce countries to a single round, despite Ecclestone's apparent fondness for the Spanish race.

Alonso has yet to make public a reply to the open letter.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Race, start
Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Race, atmosphere
Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6
26.06.2011- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
Fernando Alonso trials the Indy 500 sim [credit: McLaren Honda Andretti]
Fernando Alonso, Stoffel Vandoorne, Yusuke Hasegawa
16.04.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
16.04.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
16.04.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
16.04.2017 - Race, Zak Brown (USA) McLaren Executive Director and Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)
16.04.2017 - Race, Zak Brown (USA) McLaren Executive Director and Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)
16.04.2017 - Race, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) and Zak Brown (USA) McLaren Executive Director
16.04.2017 - Race, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)
16.04.2017 - Race, David Coulthard (GBR), Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Mark Webber (AUS)
16.04.2017 - Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MCL32
16.04.2017 - Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
16.04.2017 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM and his wife Fabiana Flosi (BRA)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Gorbachov - Unregistered

June 20, 2012 12:37 PM

if you got business around F1 and make money with it the race is a great attraction but if you are an ordinary tax payer having to pay so others make money out of the event and have your daily life disrupted by changes F1 brings to the area is something tax payers will eventually get fed up soon.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.