First the world community looked angrily at Bahrain last year, as the government attacked their own people in protests. Then more of the same happened this year, but the race happened. In Canada students groups protested a rise in tuition fees and naturally decided to involve the world of F1 in this and now local residents in Valencia, are targeting homeboy hero Fernando Alonso, as they protest the race itself.
It does seem that protesting is the way to do things nowadays. If you´re not happy with something, protest. It´s a grand idea and usually these things happen peacefully. Sign a petition or show up with a sign. Now local residents in the Valencia harbour area, are frustrated that the fifth edition of the European Grand Prix will take place again, right on their doorstep. And to make their voice heard even more, they wrote to Fernando Alonso.
The residents, under the name ‘Circuit Urbà No’, has sent an open letter to Fernando Alonso to raise their concerns about the event. They claim that the organisation of such an event is obtrusive, it creates a lot of frustrations for the many people trying to go about their lives, and they also accuse local politicians and Bernie Ecclestone of ‘delusions of grandeur’, spending in the region of €100m to host the race, when, as they say, the Ricardo Tormo circuit is just around the corner.
In the letter, the residents urges Alonso to ‘remove his helmet’ to see for himself ‘the humiliation, annoyance and provocation’ they have to suffer, just because the organisers have decided to use Valencia harbour as a Formula 1 street circuit. These annoyances include road closures, traffic diversions, and in most cases restrictions or bans to enter public places.
The Valencia street circuit has only been on the calendar for five years but are already rumoured to be dropped, at least every second year, to switch with Barcelona, so that it becomes the Spanish Grand Prix in 2014, and every second year thereafter. For the race this weekend, the organisers have scaled back the seating capacity, only 40,000 tickets have reportedly been sold.