Valencia is fast becoming one of the most talked about Spanish destinations. Over recent years the old industrial port has been transformed into a real cultural must-see and in August 2008 the glamorous city hosted its first Grand Prix on a brand-new harbour-side street circuit.
Situated in Valencia's recently-revamped marina area, the track is 5.419 kilometres in length and boasts top speeds of over 300 km/h - and average speeds of 200 km/h. The layout of the innovative track is challenging too, with 25 turns (11 left and 14 right) to test the drivers to the maximum.
After deciding on a harbour-side location, the circuit's designers were keen to use the unique area to its full potential and for most of the lap the action rarely leaves the water's edge. Indeed, at one point the Formula One cars even cross over Valencia's canal, using a swing bridge which was specially built between the north and the south marina.
Once on the southern side of the port, the cars pass very near to the edge of the quay. After leaving the historic fish market area, the field leaves the docks through the shipyard gates and heads towards the new suburb of Grao. After briefly following the course of the River Turia, the cars then slow for a tight hairpin and progress down the city's Avenida de Francia.
After negotiating a series of 'S' bends, the field then makes a sharp turn to the left and finally enters the home straight, which is situated back in the port area. The pits and team garages are also located in the former port stalls.
While enjoying all the benefits of a street circuit, the track was also designed to meet the same modern safety specifications that apply to permanent circuits. The track is at least 14 metres wide along its entire length and also features appropriate run-off areas throughout.