F1 prepares to enter the ' rollercoaster'

Everything you need to understand the Algarve International Circuit because Portugal makes a long-awaited return to Method 1 after a quarter of a hundred years this weekend

Last Updated: 19/10/20 9: 21am

The Portuguese Grand Prix is certainly making its Formula 1 come back after 24 years away this particular weekend as the re-shuffled 2020 work schedule welcomes another historic event back again – with the added intriguing distort of a new, and fast, monitor which has never hosted an F1 race.

The particular Portimao Circuit, nestled into the hills in Portugal’s Algarve, follows Mugello in making a debut in what is a frenetic 2020 season, and — like the Italian circuit where all of us saw an epic back in Sept – few of the current grid have got ever raced there before.

Another step into the F1 unknown, the Portuguese GP — live only upon Sky Sports F1 this weekend break and the first of the double header with Imola just before a trip to Turkey next month — is not one to be missed, especially with a long-standing record ready to end up being broken…

What’s the particular Portuguese GP’s F1 history?

While Portimao is a new comer to the sport, Portugal itself is rich in F1 history. There have been sixteen official world championship races in the united states, the first three switching between circuits in Boavista and Monsanto, prior to the much-loved Estoril took its put on the calendar between 1984 plus 1996. There have plenty of renowned winners, and plenty of memorable occasions.

The debut Spain race is famed for Friend Stirling Moss’ victory, and his sportsmanship in pleading for title competitor, and eventual winner, Mike Hawthorn to get a race disqualification rescinded. The particular debut event in Estoril has been another you might have heard of, concluding the particular 1984 season and featuring a good epic title decider between Niki Lauda and Alain Prost. Prost won the race, but Lauda won the title via the littlest margin in F1 history (half a point). The following Portuguese DOCTOR, meanwhile, was notable for Ayrton Senna’s maiden F1 victory within the wet.

Jacques Villeneuve won the last Portuguese GP within 1996 before it fell from the calendar.

And exactly why is it back?

In 08 came hope for Portugal with the starting of the Algarve International Circuit (Autodromo Internacional do Algarve) in Portimao at a cost of €195million. But although it hosted F1 tests the following season, the wait for a debut within the calendar has lasted over a 10 years.

However , with F1 turning to European circuits old plus new following the cancelled start to the particular 2020 season, Portimao finally provides its chance.

“For us it’s been a long wait, inch circuit boss Paulo Pinheiro informed Sky Sports F1. It’s a lifetime fantasy that we managed to accomplish this. So , we have been really looking forward to having F1 presently there. ”

What’s the particular track like?

In comparison to Spa and Austin’s Circuit from the Americas with plenty of flowing quick corners and elevation changes, Portimao, like Mugello, will be a joy regarding drivers. The sweeping right-handers associated with Turns 8 and 10 needs to be particularly engrossing, while another lengthy bend both rounds off the panel and generates plenty of speed for your start-finish straight. That is likely to be exactly where most of the overtaking takes place, although moving should be aided by what is a broad circuit.

If a good F1 circuit was a rollercoaster, this could probably be it – and has certainly been likened as such.

“For us it will be amazing to find out these new generation of F1 cars running there because the elevations are incredibly high, the speed within the corners is truly huge, so it is going to be an amazing place to see an F1 car, ” said Pinheiro.

The track has also been resurfaced to smooth out bumps, and Pinheiro added: “There’s a completely new the road asphalt there. It will be a new level so hopefully there will be no lumps there anymore. So it will be totally smooth and very fast. ”

And just how fast for a routine where the current lap record is really a 1: 27? “The simulation we have it’s 1: 14 pole place lap, so it’s really, really quick, ” added the circuit TOP DOG. “It’s really hard to understand how a good F1 car can lap as soon as that on our race-track, it’s really amazing. ”

Where could it be?

The circuit, formally called the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve but more commonly known as Portimao — after the port city it rests half an hour outside of. It’s situated correct in the south of Portugal, furthermore close to the Algarve city of Lagos.

Lewis Hamilton testing for McLaren at a damp Algarve circuit in January 2009

Lewis Hamilton testing intended for McLaren at a wet Algarve signal in January 2009

Lewis Hamilton testing for McLaren in a wet Algarve circuit in The month of january 2009

Have got drivers driven there before?

Only two of the present grid have ever been on the monitor in an F1 car, both of these being McLaren drivers (Lewis Hamilton, January test 2009 and Lando Norris, 2017 test in older car). Eight, meanwhile, have ran at Portimao.

These are Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas (2009 British F3), Sergio Perez (2009 GP2), as well as Charles Leclerc, George Russell, Alex Albon, Puncture Stroll and Antonio Giovinazzi (2015 European F3).

“I actually have good memories in Portimao, ” recalled Ricciardo. “It had been where I wrapped up a good F3 championship and it was a routine I really enjoyed. Some good elevation, plus quite good, flowing fast edges. ”

Max Verstappen, however , does have very recent encounter at the Portimao, testing a GT3 car there in January this season.

What’s on the line?

Hamilton’s victory at the Nurburgring helped him equal Michael Schumacher’s record tally of 91 F1 wins while also moving your pet 69 points clear in the name race following Bottas’ DNF. The win at Portimao this weekend break would see the Englishman move to the very best of the win charts alone, plus surely all-but-cement a record-equalling 7th crown with only five events remaining in 2020.

Mercedes also have a first chance to clinch a record seventh consecutive constructors’ tournament, although the mathematics make that a lengthy shot this weekend.

Particularly as Red Bull, and much more specifically Verstappen, look likely to be the threat – particularly after Mercedes’ boss Toto Wolff admitted the particular team have stopped upgrades for his or her current car.

The particular battle for fourth in the tournament is also hotting up, with the in-form Ricciardo now ahead, while Race Point, McLaren and Renault are usually closely-matched in the constructors’ scrap with regard to third.