Portimao looking to bring F1 back to Portugal
Owners of the Autodromo Internacional Algarve have started talks with Formula One Management to bring F1 back to Portugal in the near future, according to Motorsport.com.
The 4.6 km track, commonly known as Portimao Circuit, was homologated in 2008 and enjoys a capacity of 100,000.
The venue’s management was apparently enticed by the Portuguese government to sound out FOM on the possibility of bringing F1 back to a country which hosted its last Grand Prix at Estoril in 1996.
Thanks to a rebounding national economy, the government is open to the idea of partially subsidizing a race in Portimao providing it can agree terms with FOM on a reasonable race fee.
Formula 1’s commercial manager Sean Bratches is keen on expanding the sport’s calendar in the future beyond 21 races from 2019, but has also insisted that F1’s agenda should include more races in the US while protecting the return to the calendar of traditional countries such as France and Germany.
Portugal could therefore find itself with a struggle on its hands to vie, not only for a date, but also for a reasonable fee.
Portimao hosted a series of F1 tests in December 2008 and January 2009, and was also the venue of choice last week for Lando Norris’ prize winning McLaren Autosport BRDC test run in a 2011 McLaren.