Valencia officials have 'cooked the books' in a bid to persuade us that its Grand Prix is popular. They're not fooling anyone... 

Aside from charging next weekend’s European Grand Prix organisers for staging the dullest event on the calendar, a new charge of ‘cooking the books’ should be levelled against the Valencia event’s organisers…

In a rather boastful press release, organisers have announced that next weekend’s event has been all but sold out.

But that they’ve failed to acknowledge is that they’ve reduced the venue’s seating capacity by fifteen per cent – to just 45,000 seats – to make sure that the remaining available seats were sold.

This year’s Grand Prix will be the fifth staged at the port city, but its attendance numbers have dwindled over the years on account of its poor racing, the lack of certainty of success for local hero Fernando Alonso, and the ever-degenerating Spanish economy.

Grandstand seating at Valencia? Next year will see the venue alternate with Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya to stage a single race on Spanish soil; Valencia is expected to return to the calendar in 2014 and for the subsequent even-numbered years.

“The economic impact for tourism in Valencia is unquestionable,” RACC President and FIA senior delegate Carlos Gracia told journalists at a press conference this week.

“The Grand Prix of Valencia is now recognised worldwide, so it has been proven that the global projection it offers is far greater than its costs.”

One would certainly dispute that claim…

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.