1984 Portuguese Grand Prix
- Sunday, October 21, 1984
- Grande Premio de Portugal
- F1 World Championship
Estoril Autodrome, October 210 TO round off the 1984 Formula One season, the Grand Prix of Portugal was revived and held on the little “mickey-mouse” Autodrome in the hills behind Estoril, near Lisbon. Having only been used for minor events since its construction in the nineteen seventies, the 4.26 kilometre winding and undulating track needed quite a lot of “facelifting” to make it acceptable to the Formula One circus, but the Portuguese club, aided by Mr. Ecclestone, put their backs into the project and everything was more or less ready for an unofficial test-session on Thursday afternoon, before the serious business of practice and qualifying was due to begin on Friday. The general consensus of opinion was that the refurbished little Autodrome was not too bad, and was really quite fun to drive round, though not in the manner of Francorchamps, Osterrekhring, or Silverstone. Formula One rather than Grand Prix. All the teams were ready to go on Friday morning, with one or two minor alterations and additions and one or two drivers making their last racing appearance with their 1984 teams.
Gerhard Berger took over number 14 in the ATS team, a number that used to belong to Manfred Winkelhock, and Renault had a fourth RE50 car with them to allow Philippe Streiff to make his debut in Formula One, he having done aloe of test-driving for the Renault team, Jacques Lafitte was making his last Williams appearance before returning to Ligier, Ayrton Senna was having his last Toleman drive before moving to Lotus and one or two others were wondering where they would be going when this race was over. With a five month break from this last race to the first race of 1985 the mechanical scene was litdc changed from the last race, Brabham brought back their highly successful “qualifying special” BT53/4, Ferrari restricted themselves to three cars again, Lotus and McLaren had their usual trio of highly successful cars and Berger had the luxury of both ATS-D7 cars at his disposal.
During the Thursday afternoon try-out the skies were ominously grey and a cool wind was blowing off the sea, but it stayed dry, which was just as well bearing in mind the primitive and unfinished surroundings of the Autodrome, by Friday morning disaster had struck.
Alcabideche, Lisbon Region
Permanent road course
Damon Hill (Williams FW15C-Renault), 1m14.859, 129.989 mph, F1, 1993
First Race1973 Estoril F2