The Valencia street circuit is hardly conducive to cut and thrust action since it arrived on the scene in 2009. One notable moment does stand out however, for it demonstrated dramatically Formula One’s safety standards.
Mark Webber’s 2010 European Grand Prix had not been going well, the Australian having fluffed his start and dropped from second to ninth in the early stages. Already with little to lose, Webber pitted early for fresh Pirellis before setting off on a charge, a sizeable gap of clear air in front of him. That was until the Red Bull rocketed up behind Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus.
Approaching the fastest point of the circuit – turn twelve – Webber jinked out of the Lotus’s slipstream just a hair too late, clipping Kovalainen’s right rear wheel with his front left, consequently pitching the Red Bull into a terrifying, high-speed mid-air somersault. Amazingly, Webber was uninjured after landing back on-track upside down!