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Portimao cleared to host F1

NEWS STORY
08/04/2020

As F1 looks to put some sort of season together, there has been talk of various options that might improve the chances.

Other than back-to-back events being held at the same circuits and talk of events on reversed track layouts, there has also been the suggestion that the new schedule might feature predominantly European venues.

With that in mind, it is interesting to see that the Algarve International Circuit in Portimao, Portugal, has been handed the FIA Grade 1 licence necessary if hosting an F1 race.

The track was originally developed as part of a project to provide a comprehensive range of facilities for various sectors of the motor industry, from constructors, to racing teams and companies, allowing them to present, test and develop their products, while the layout of the track provides spectators with far-reaching views from any grandstand.

The circuit offers numerous track configurations, from 3.465m (shortest) to 4.684m (F1 version) and is homologated by the FIA and FIM to host competitions at the highest level.

The different layout combinations allows between faster, challenging versions or slower, more technical ones.

A recent upgrade to the circuit, which already held an FIM Grade A licence, saw it given clearance to host World Superbikes, with officials now in talks with MotoGP in a bid to host a Portuguese round of the championship.

Portimao hosted Ferrari and McLaren for F1 testing in 2008 with both returning, along with Toro Rosso, Renault, Williams and Toyota in 2009. McLaren returned in 2016, along with world champions Mercedes.

"It is with great pride that we receive the maximum degree, the highest level in the homologation for automotive circuits, which enables us to receive F1 Grand Prix races," said Paulo Pinheiro, CEO of Parkalgar, the company that owns the circuit. "After receiving in 2017 the grade 2 + 1T that allowed us to continue to receive tests of that championship, this is how we can reach the maximum level."

Portugal last hosted a round of the world championship in 1996 at Estoril, which hosted 13 Grands Prix from 1984 before being dropped from the schedule after failing to make necessary upgrades to its facilities.

The Algarve track has hosted rounds of the FIA European Formula 3 championship in recent years, in addition to rounds of the FIA GT and WTCC series.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by nnails, 08/04/2020 17:54

"One of the pc race games as this track. Lot of fun to drive round as some corners are blind top hills. "

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