Formula 1 announced on July 24th that it will deliver a Portuguese Grand Prix later this season in the Algarvian race track of Portimão. The race was announced with two others, in Germany and Italy, as a response to the suspensions and cancellations caused by the pandemic earlier this year.
The motorsport world’s top-tier has been trying to schedule most of its races in Europe, to reduce the need for travelling. This minimizes the chances of the whole entourage to get “stuck” between borders, given the travelling restrictions currently applied throughout the world. It will also represent less travelling costs, which is relevant given the world macro-economic contraction. All four races in the American continent, from Canada to Brazil, have been definitely called off.
In Algarve for the first time
The Portuguese Grand Prix was held on several occasions in the past. The most recent and remembered stint happened between 1984 and 1996, in the racing track of Estoril, near Lisbon. In the 2000s, a new and modern facility was built near Portimão with the stated goal of receiving Formula 1 someday. In the meantime, it would participate in the remodelling of Algarve as an international centre for tourism and business.
The Great Recession of 2008 (precisely the year the race track was completed) and the subsequent hardships meant that Formula 1 cars made only a brief test in Portimão that year and never came back. Until now.
Another sign of trust
After the hosting of the Champions League finals, the Portuguese Grand Prix is another clear sign of international confidence in the work of the Portuguese authorities while dealing with the pandemic. For obvious reasons, this ability has been among the criteria used by Liberty Media (the company that owns and runs the business) to re-schedule races in Europe. Of the 10 Formula One teams, 3 have their headquarters in Italy and the remaining seven in Britain, the traditional heart of motorsport.
The Grand Prix will run between October 23rd and 25th.