(what? No Nurburgring?)
How can this be? A European Grand Prix not taking place at the Nurburgring? The world of Formula 1 was stunned when news came through that the European Grand Prix had found a new home. After all, how would we cope without the attractions of Nurburg; its vibrant nightlife, its trendy clubs and bars, those wonderful five star restaurants so near to the circuit, the beaches and especially the cultured and dignified behaviour of the local race fans.
The Valencia PR machine has been in full swing trying to convince us that this third largest city in Spain, the fifteenth biggest in the EU, can somehow match the delights of the former much loved home of this event. It is true that both Valencia and the Nurburgring have two circuits, but some of the Spanish claims to greatness just don't add up. Let's look at the evidence: Valencia claims to have great architecture, both old and modern, but it cannot compare to the beauty of the Eifel mountains, especially in the rain and if you can see them through the fog.
The Spanish city boasts that it has the biggest aquarium in Europe, but next to the Nurburgring is the famous Nurburg Castle which looks just like the sort of castle you find in a Goldfish bowl. If the Nurburgring had an aquarium built to the same scale as its castle, it would be about the size of Switzerland and therefore much bigger than the one in Valencia.
Valencia claims to have invented the Paella. Is this something to be proud of? After all, as any restaurant owner will tell you, Paella is a great way to unload all the little bits of fish left over in the refrigerator at the end of the week, onto the plates of gullible tourists. We are meant to believe the fish have been caught by intrepid sailors braving the seas to bring home the freshest ingredients. How can that compare with the fearless men of Nurburg who dive deep into nearby lakes to wrestle the dreaded eight tentacled Sauerkraut onto your plate.
Even the water is not what it seems at this new race venue. Apparently "Agua de Valencia" is famous in this area. However, it's not even water, but a lethal cocktail of champagne, orange juice, gin and vodka. Now the Nurburgring is a different matter. There, you can get real Agua, just by walking outdoors with your mouth open to catch the rain. As for the orange juice at the Spanish venue, don't be fooled by the name, as the world famous "Valencia Orange" was actually first grown in Santa Ana, California, USA. The much more dignified citizens of Nurburg haven'teven bothered giving their own home-grown oranges a name at all, which could be why they arehard to find.
Finally, you can tell a lot about a place by its pet animals. Around the Nurburgring you are likely to see German Shepherd and Doberman dogs, renowned for their intelligence and bravery. Valencia has a dog named the "Valencia Ratter" which they claim is great at dealing with nasty vermin like rats. Really? Click on the link below to watch as three of the finest Valencia Ratters get very confused and take almost four minutes to find one rat.
Don't think we'll be using them in the Red Bull Energy Station kitchens anytime soon.