Jun.27 (GMM) The Valencia street circuit is now a “home” for formula one, according to F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.
Ahead of its debut race in 2008, it is believed a seven-year contract was signed.
But the venue has met with criticism, including a 5.4 kilometre layout that has hosted processional races, and a lack of atmosphere due to the absence of many boats in the marina.
There were, however, a healthy 50,000 spectators for Saturday’s qualifying session, and Ecclestone is quoted by the local news agency EFE: “I’m very proud and pleased with Valencia.”
The Briton said he once thought setting up a circuit in the America’s Cup port area was “almost impossible” and a “20 year project completed in two”.
“It’s a miracle,” Ecclestone laughed.
“This is now a home for us. Today a journalist told me ‘this is another Monaco’,” the 79-year-old added.
However, Telegraph writer Simon Briggs on Saturday described Valencia as “a poor man’s Monaco”.