The Valencia street circuit is now a "home" for formula one, according to F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

The Valencia street circuit is now a "home" for formula one, according to F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

Ahead of its debut race in 2008, it is believed a seven-year contract was signed.

But the venue has met with criticism, including a 5.4 kilometre layout that has hosted processional races, and a lack of atmosphere due to the absence of many boats in the marina.

There were, however, a healthy 50,000 spectators for Saturday's qualifying session, and Ecclestone is quoted by the local news agency EFE: "I'm very proud and pleased with Valencia."

The Briton said he once thought setting up a circuit in the America's Cup port area was "almost impossible" and a "20 year project completed in two".

"It's a miracle," Ecclestone laughed.

"This is now a home for us. Today a journalist told me 'this is another Monaco'," the 79-year-old added.

However, Telegraph writer Simon Briggs on Saturday described Valencia as "a poor man's Monaco".

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