The European Grand Prix is unique as a Formula One Grand Prix. The race itself has been held more locations than any other race. Multiple circuits have been used throughout the years, including some circuit that were only used once. In 1923, the predecessor to the FIA (FÃ©dÃ©ration Internationale de l'Automobile), the AIACR (Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus), created an annual specialty title for a chosen Grand Prix. The first given the honor was the Italian Grand Prix. This honorary title simply renamed a current Grand Prix each year, and the distinction was put on hiatus after 1930. After World War II, the title was once again put in place towards the Belgian Grand Prix in 1947. This tradition of renaming an annual Grand Prix as the European Grand Prix continued until the 1977 British Grand Prix, the final Grand Prix to be honored. During this stretch of F1 history, the Italian Grand Prix received the honor on seven different occasions, the most of any race.
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After a brief hiatus of the European Grand Prix, the race continued it's golden legacy in 1983. During the 1983 season a race featuring Flushing Meadows Park inside of New York City was canceled a few months before the event was scheduled. Brand Hatch, a motor circuit in Kent, England, was alternating with the Silverstone circuit for the British Grand Prix. Organizers at the circuit revived the European Grand Prix for the 1983 season. The European Grand Prix found a new home in 1984 at the NÃ¼rburgring circuit in Germany, and again found its way back to Brand Hatch for the 1985 season before being replaced by the Hungarian Grand Prix. The race was revived in 1992 at Donington Park, and continued with a few interruptions until today. The race was held at the NÃ¼rburgring circuit until 2007 when the race found its current home in Valencia, Spain.
The Valencia Street Circuit held its first European Grand Prix in August of 2008. Felipe Massa found his way on top of the podium from pole position. The circuit was intricately designed by Hermann Tilke, a German architect, exclusively for Formula One racing. The Valencia Street Circuit consists of a length of 5.419 kilometers, or around 3.4 miles. The circuit incorporates a total of 25 turns, 14 to the left and 11 to the right. An estimated top speed of 323 kilometers per hour, 201 miles per hour, can be reached. The circuit lap record was set by Timo Glock during the 2009 European Grand Prix of 1:38.683. The Valencia Street Circuit is notorious for its lack of overtaking opportunities. Drivers criticize this lack of opportunity, but unfortunately the position of the track inside the city leaves little room for improvement. This in turns creates a unique opportunity that gives extreme importance to the qualifying round. The pole position has traditionally produced the winner, with the exception coming in 2009 European Grand Prix where Rubens Barrichello overtook the Lewis Hamilton, the pole leader, for top position on the podium. The circuit cuts through the beautiful Valencia city harbor and port and also includes a large section racing across a 140 meter, 460 feet, swing bridge. The Valencia Street Circuit, the current home of the European Grand Prix, is a beautifully stunning architectural achievement.