(Inautonews.com/GMM) The media slammed the sagging spectacle of Sunday’s European grand prix.
After seven exciting races boosted by the new overtaking ‘DRS’ system and heavily degrading Pirelli tyres, the formula did not conspire to spice up the usually-processional action on the streets of Valencia.
Making the situation worse was Sebastian Vettel’s further extension of his runaway championship lead, and then his exuberant celebration on the radio.
His upbeat message “Fantastic boys, I can’t tell you how good this feels” was met with “deafening silence in the multinational media centre”, according to the Telegraph’s Tom Cary.
The Sunday Express’ Bob McKenzie agreed that the 23-year-old German shifted F1 into “snooze control” in the Spanish sun with the Valencia “yawnfest”.
Agreed the Independent’s David Tremayne: “If all the races were run on tracks as infernally dull and uninvolving as the one here, the FIA might as well hand another world champion’s trophy to Sebastian Vettel right now.
“For heaven’s sake, even kids with their Scalextric come up with better layouts,” he added in a barb apparently pointed at F1 circuit designer Hermann Tilke.
Added the Daily Star’s James Murray: “Sebastian Vettel won one of the most boring races ever and there are fears the rest of the season will be the same.”
And the Sun’s Michael Spearman said: “The street race around the Valencia Marina complex was about as thrilling as a four-hour Wagnerian epic.”
Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport pointed out that there was not a single “retirement, safety car or crash” and the DRS proved “inefficient despite the two overtaking zones”.
Bild am Sonntag newspaper said: “The best things about the Valencia race were the sea, the blue sky, the bobbing yachts and the bikini girls.”
“It was the first horribly boring race of the season,” agreed Austria’s Kleine Zeitung.
“Most viewers felt overwhelmed with boredom by the procession,” added the Swiss daily Le Temps.
The Times’ Kevin Eason observed on Twitter that Vettel said the race was “maybe boring” for the spectators. “Too right chum,” the journalist quipped.
But the Telegraph’s Cary said it is wrong to blame the smiling Red Bull driver.
“The index-finger waggling celebration is becoming irksome but only because he is jabbing it in our faces every fortnight,” he said.
Meanwhile, European grand prix promoter Jorge Martinez Aspar insisted the event had been “excellent” and attended by a healthy 85,000.
But he told EFE news agency that there is “no rush” to sign a five-year option for more Valencia races post 2014.
“We are happy with the situation and want to make the project viable. Ecclestone is willing to help,” said Aspar, “but we need to further involve the city.”