Start, Autodromo do Algarve, 2020

Portugal’s Algarve track to host third round of 2021 F1 season

2021 F1 calendar

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The Autodromo do Algarve in Portugal will return to the Formula 1 calendar in 2021 as the venue for the third round of the championship.

The venue, which held its first Formula 1 race last year, had been widely expected to take the vacant slot left when the 2021 F1 calendar was first announced last November.

However the deteriorating pandemic situation in the country put F1’s plans in doubt. The championship previously looked into the possibility of holding an extra race in Bahrain if an event in Portugal could not go ahead.

Formula 1 is now understood to be confident the Portuguese race can take place and teams will be advised of their plans at tomorrow’s meeting of the F1 Commission. A single race in Bahrain will therefore begin the season at the end of next month, followed by a further race at Imola in April, after which Portugal’s race will be the first of three rounds in May.

One sticking point for Formula 1’s UK-based teams is that country includes Portugal on its so-called ‘red list’ of areas which are subject to travel restrictions. Those arriving in the UK from Portugal must self-isolate for 10 days.

However F1 personnel will be able to travel from Portugal to Spain for the following round of the championship which takes place one week later. Those returning to the UK will then be able to enter the country 10 days after they left Portugal.

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Expected 2021 F1 calendar

RoundRaceCircuitDate
1Bahrain Grand PrixBahrain International Circuit28/03/2021
2Made in Italy and Emilia-Romagna Grand PrixImola18/04/2021
3Portuguese Grand PrixAutodromo do Algarve02/05/2021
4Spanish Grand PrixCircuit de Catalunya09/05/2021
5Monaco Grand PrixMonaco23/05/2021
6Azerbaijan Grand PrixBaku City Circuit06/06/2021
7Canadian Grand PrixCircuit Gilles Villeneuve13/06/2021
8French Grand PrixPaul Ricard27/06/2021
9Austrian Grand PrixRed Bull Ring04/07/2021
10British Grand PrixSilverstone18/07/2021
11Hungarian Grand PrixHungaroring01/08/2021
12Belgian Grand PrixSpa-Francorchamps29/08/2021
13Dutch Grand PrixZandvoort05/09/2021
14Italian Grand PrixMonza12/09/2021
15Russian Grand PrixSochi Autodrom26/09/2021
16Singapore Grand PrixSingapore03/10/2021
17Japanese Grand PrixSuzuka10/10/2021
18United States Grand PrixCircuit of the Americas24/10/2021
19Mexico City Grand PrixAutodromo Hermanos Rodriguez31/10/2021
20Sao Paulo Grand PrixInterlagos07/11/2021
21Australian Grand PrixAlbert Park21/11/2021
22Saudi Arabian Grand PrixJeddah Street Circuit05/12/2021
23Abu Dhabi Grand PrixYas Marina12/12/2021

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2021 F1 season

Browse all 2021 F1 season articles

Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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49 comments on “Portugal’s Algarve track to host third round of 2021 F1 season”

  1. Good to have Portimao back again. Hopefully the WEC and Moto GP races in the month prior to F1 will help further rubber it in and we might even see lap times jump a bit from last year.

    1. What a mess. That’s exactly what we need here. A F1 race

      What is the source on this news btw?

      1. Not intended as a reply

      2. why are you asking for a source on an article by Dieter Rencken and Keith Collantine.

        They’re the source. All of your clickbait news collecting websites get their “exclusives” from exactly three legit sources, racefans being one of them.

        1. @aiii Walter White, is that you?

      3. It came directly from F1 @johnmilk. Good luck surviving the current mess.

        1. @bascb oh well, here we go again

      4. Jose Lopes da Silva
        10th February 2021, 14:21

        Surely it will be held on closed doors.
        Unless the camping guys of the Parliament Square move to autodrom.

        1. maybe they can open the parliament restaurant over there and everything

      5. As long as there are no spectators (that would trully be stupid and reckless!) I have no problem with Portimão hosting the GP. I’m actually happy, gives more notoriety to the track and hopefully we’ll be able to have F1 races there in a post-pandemic era! :)

        1. @gordess I have if they use tax money to pay for this

          1. Point taken… :|

  2. That’s one of the tracks I really wanted to return, so I’m hopeful all goes to plan.

    Now if they could just squeeze in Istanbul and Mugello…

    1. @neilosjames Only possible if some later events (Monaco, Azerbaijan, Canada, etc.) were to lose out for COVID and or entry restrictions.

  3. Glad to see they still managed to get this race on the calendar despite the apparent troubles they seemed to be having due to the rising cases in Portugal. I’d much rather have a race at this track than do two in Bahrain, the Sakhir one-off was good for Merc shenanigans and first lap incidents, along with Russell’s outing, but I doubt lightning would strike twice on that one.

  4. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    10th February 2021, 13:40

    I’m so pleased about this. A track I’ve loved for many years and certainly lives up to my expectations as a spectacle last season.

  5. Brilliant decision by Formula 1. This was the best of the ‘new’ tracks visited in 2020 by far. If they can reduce the length of the DRS zone on the main straight slightly it will be even better.

    1. @f1frog I’d rather have a second zone on the straight from T4 (T3 in my books) to T5, which should’ve had one last year already.

      1. Shame on you for suggesting another DRS zone. You don’t encourage a screaming baby by screaming back.
        I’m not tagging on you just understand many F1 fans feel DRS isn’t right for formula one. It’s an artificial method to promote passing. And it’s stupid. Formula one is even stupidier for its continued use.
        Nobody but a few dozen feel good about DRS, the Dumb Racing System. May it die quickly like by morning.

        1. @Holmzini That straight is short, so most definitely wouldn’t promote easy-looking passing, but merely give a better chance into the T5 hairpin or at least help stay closer into it. The same applies to Imola’s back straight.

  6. Fantastic! Brilliant track. Plus the GP name isn’t a fully-formed sentence!

    1. Jose Lopes da Silva
      10th February 2021, 14:22

      I would go with a Grand Prix of Algarve.

      1. Not “Fabricado em Portugal e Grande Prémio de Algarve?” It’s snappy and still available.

        1. @david-br Don’t give them any ideas!

          1. Jose Lopes da Silva
            10th February 2021, 19:20

            +1

  7. Good thing that the country’s COVID situation isn’t seemingly going to be an obstacle after all, although I wouldn’t mind another European track should the opposite case arise.

    1. Coventry Climax
      10th February 2021, 20:35

      “the country’s COVID situation” is not a static thing, it changes, and fast. Portugal went from over 1250 new cases per million on januari 28th, to 541 on februari 9th. Event with the british variant being predominant (let the english take it back home with them! ;-) ), transmission rate is well below 1 now, thank god. But that’s not to say it can’t go up again just as fast. Having a Portimão race with fans would be an excellent way to achieve that, but hopefully, since slackening the rules over the Christmas holidays is what brought on the mess, they’ve wisened up now.
      I love the track and I hope the race will be held, but hopefully without fans.
      Got the figures from ourworldindata-dot-org. Recommend everyone going there to explore the data.

      1. @Coventry Climax I’ve mainly used Worldometers.info for this purpose.

  8. Imola and Portimao to start off the season brings a smile to my face

    1. Bring Germany back and I’ll be happy.

  9. Maybe a less ambitious plan for the season would have been a good idea, to make it easier to swap around the races, the planning can get very complicated next year.

    1. @maisch How or why would this year’s planning make next year more complicated?

    2. I get the feeling no one at F1 headquarters ever expected the announced 21 (or 22?) race calendar to go ahead as announced… but having such a large number to begin with allows for a large number of cancellations, yet still leaving a decent number of races

  10. Okay so here’s the important question. Does this mean it will get added to the F1 2021 game? Alongside Imola!?

    1. @cduk_mugello Hopefully, although it may be a struggle for the Codemasters team to get access to the track. Perhaps they might be able to base it off CAD models provided by the circuit and 3-D pictures/videos.

    2. That would be so great!

    3. I’m still holding out hope that the 2021 game will include all the actual 2020 tracks, either as bonus tracks, or as a dedicated 2020 ‘mode’ as we saw with F1 2015 including the 2014 season. But then maybe I’m a hopeless optimist!

  11. Brilliant news.

    Imola and Portugal. What a start to the season!

  12. It is nice to see that after some news about planning to put Sakhir GP instead of Portuguese GP in the last week. Portimao really deserves to host F1 GP permanently instead of Barcelona. Besides that, I don’t think that the F1 calendar will be finalized this week, F1 will have to decide whether to hold or cancel the races of Monaco-Azerbaijan-Canada GP’s until at the end of March, and we would see Istanbul or Nürburgring replace some of the races based on the circuits’ feasibility to pay the fee. I hope that Istanbul will have another chance to organize a race in 2021 by paying the needed fee.

    1. @bengibaris Monaco’s deadline is within this month. Azerbaijan’s in the latter half of March. Canada has more time on its side.

      1. Since Formula E Monaco race has been already announced for the date of May 8, I think that there won’t be any decision to cancel Monaco GP at least for this month, I remember that they also decide February deadline for preparing for Formula E and Historic Monaco GP races before the F1 race.

        I know that Canada has less preparation time rather than Azerbaijan, and the cancellation of the 2020 Canada GP was announced at the beginning of April. But, imo; the decision must be given at the same time for both races at the same time to arrange the calendar and to find replacement circuits more easily.

        1. @bengibaris The build-up process usually commences around or past the middle of March. This year, though, it begins towards the end of this month because of the Historic GP scheduled four weeks before the Monaco GP rather than closer to the main event. One option is to cancel the Historic and FE events to allow for a later start, thus giving the Monaco GP a higher chance of happening. If starting this month would prove too difficult for the circumstances.

  13. Love this track. Very happy about this news.

  14. Happy that Portimão returns.

    F1 will again have to be flexible regarding the calendar this year.

    These, currently on the calendar, won’t be held:
    Monaco, Azerbaijan, Canada, Singapore, Mexico City, Sao Paulo

    Japan happens if the Olympics happen
    Australia depends on that country’s international entry/quarantine stance nearer to/at the time

    1. @Simon You forgot the US, although every event scheduled for September and beyond is too premature to judge this far in advance. Brazil might lose out due to legal issues rather than COVID (or COVID alone), though.
      Monaco, Azerbaijan, and Canada are most at risk solely because of being scheduled for earlier in the year than the others you listed.

  15. *Provisional 2021 calendar, certainly not expected!

  16. “Portugal’s Algarve track to host third round of 2021 F1 season”

    Except it isn’t. Yet… 🤣

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