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June 24, 2012

Why do we love it?  That was the question I asked in an article written on Thursday.  Today’s race in Valencia provided a categorical answer to that question.  I am going to shift from protocol in this article which would normally feature a review of the day’s racing.  No matter how eloquently I write, I simply could not do the justice to the spectacle we witnessed in Valencia today.  If you were unfortunate enough to miss out on the Valencia Grand Prix I strongly suggest that you find out when it is being replayed on your TV and ensure that you watch it.  If that is not possible you will have to wait until the DVD is released, or the feature-film appears on the silver screen, as it undoubtedly will.

Today we were treated to a day of racing that has never before been seen in Valencia.  This has been the theme of the 2012 season, everything that we thought we could count on in Formula 1; the dominance of Redbull, the lack of overtaking on street circuits, the largely predictable race outcomes and the monotony of the European Grand Prix in Valencia, has been turned upside down.  We have had 7 different winners in 8 races, with the first double victor coming in Valencia today.  We have seen the Championship lead change hands more frequently than a dollar bill.  We have seen the return of Kimi Raikkonen to Formula 1 racing and Michael Schumacher’s long-awaited return to the podium.  Caterham have demonstrated their ability to fight it out amongst the midfield teams and Vettel proved in Valencia today that without reliability, having the fastest car on the circuit means nothing at all.

The next time I get asked why I am so passionate about Formula 1 I will invite them over to my flat for an afternoon and play them a recording of this year’s Valencia Grand Prix.  It will be impossible for them to say with any conviction, after watching this race, that Formula 1 is boring.  Even the most stubborn of my friends will be hard pressed to point out more than 20 minutes of today’s race that did not have us perched on the edges of our seats, holding our breath during the attempted overtakes, revelling in the successful ones and grimacing at the not-so-successful.  There will undoubtedly be some new converts who, after seeing today’s race, will find themselves tuning-in to the race in Silverstone on the 8th of July full of anticipation for another rip-roarer!

The 2012 Valencia Grand Prix will surely be nominated for an Academy Award in 2013.  A better story could not have been scripted by a Hollywood screenwriter.  The race was full of intrigue and action.  There were heroes and villains worthy of a tear-jerking, Oscar winning drama.  Even after the chequered flag fell on Alonso’s emotional victory, the narrative continued to play out.  Rumours circulated of podium finishers losing their spots and post-race penalties were dished out to the day’s antagonists.  Valencia, uncharacteristically, served up 57 laps of wall-to-wall action.  There were tears and there were cheers, there were thrills and spills and one extremely happy Spaniard savouring the glory of winning a home Grand Prix.  If you needed a reason to reaffirm your passion for F1 then you need not look any further than Valencia 2012.  This is why we love F1…!

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