Portuguese Grand Prix added to 2021 F1 calendar


Portuguese Grand Prix at Portimao back on the calendar for 2021 after last year's debut

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) takes the lead at the start of the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix in Portimao. Photo: Grand Prix Photo

Portimao returns to F1 calendar in 2021

Grand Prix Photo

Portimao has been added to the 2021 F1 calendar, and is due to host the Portuguese Grand Prix on May 2.

The race will the unfilled TBC slot, ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, which has been vacant since the calendar was first announced last year.

“It is the intention of Formula 1 to fill the “TBC” position with a race at Portimão in Portugal on the dates already held in the calendar,” an F1 statement said. “The final agreement is still subject to contract with the promoter.”

F1’s plans for 2021 have already been disrupted by Covid-19 travel and quarantine regulations, with the postponement of races in Australia and China.

The Portuguese Grand Prix will now be the third race in the schedule, after Bahrain on March 28 and Imola on April 18.

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Negotiations with the Portuguese promoters stalled at one point, as it was one of 33 European countries to feature on the UK’s Covid-19 ‘Red List’. Two back-to-back to races at Bahrain, as held last season, are thought to have been the backup plan if the Portuguese Grand Prix proved impossible.

As things stand, F1 staff and team personnel will travel to Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix on the following week, and are likely to remain in Spain for ten days, which will enable them to avoid quarantine on their return to Britain, as Spain is not on the red list at the moment.

Last year’s race saw a frenetic start, as cars struggled for grip on the damp, undulating circuit, with Carlos Sainz taking a shock early lead.

Lewis Hamilton ran out the eventual winner, taking what was at the time a record 92nd win.