Autodromo do Algarve, 2020

Cooler, cloudier conditions for Algarve’s second Portuguese Grand Prix

2021 Portuguese Grand Prix weather

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The 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix is set to be a few degrees cooler and more overcast than F1’s previous outing to the Autodromo do Algarve.

The 2020 race at the circuit near Portimao was not especially warm by F1 standards, with air temperatures peaking at around 22C. This year’s event, held much earlier in the year, will see temperatures around 3C lower across every session, and more cloud cover over the circuit.

Track temperatures are therefore likely to be slightly down on last year as well, particularly given the more overcast skies. Last year’s first practice session had an air temperature high of 21C but a track temperature high of 34C. This year, the same session will have an ambient high of 17C and be cloudy.

Second practice will, predictably, be a little warmer at 19C and also considerably windier, with the breeze up to 23 kilometres per hour. Saturday’s final practice and qualifying will follow a similar pattern, with the wind again picking up a little session and temperatures around the same beneath cloudy skies.

Early predictions for race day indicate conditions should take a turn for the better. Much sunnier weather is expected in time for the grand prix. Even so, it should remain relatively brisk with an air temperature high of 24C during the scheduled race time and 24kph winds.

The risk of rain will remain low all weekend, so there should be little chance of a repeat of the wet conditions seen at Imola.

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For more updates on the track conditions during each session keep an eye on RaceFans Live and the RaceFans Twitter account.

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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13 comments on “Cooler, cloudier conditions for Algarve’s second Portuguese Grand Prix”

  1. That could be in Mercedes advantage as when it has his tyres on temp just a bit faster then RB. We will see strategies coming up!

    1. I’m thinking it’s the other way round, and Bottas who hasn’t been able to get his rears up to temperature. Perez is more about just a lack of precision compared to Max and Lewis.

      1. I meant Mercedes has the racepace but RedBull the poleposition. It’s al very small difference between them but with a good call Mercedes could pull it off.

    2. @macleod I reckon this will favour Red Bull in qualifying as they seem to be able to generate tyre temperatures quicker, however, Mercedes will probably benefit from better tyre wear over a stint, even though they might be slow in the first few laps. I predict a Verstappen pole but a Hamilton victory.

      1. @mashiat Yes, especially with the superior Mercedes tactics.

        It’s interesting how a lot will depend on Bottas and Perez to block the undercut, and that could go either way as we know.

  2. Ehm sunny weather and temperatures of 24 degrees celcius on raceday doesn’t sound cool to me?? In The Netherlands we consider that a hot day :)

    1. @kavu Indeed. A couple of degrees higher than 22, after all.

  3. Overall, pretty similar to last time, albeit race day warmer than last year’s high, and not far off it on practice and QLF day either. At least, warmer than Imola last time out.

  4. Here we go again. The famous Lewis luck is again intervening on his side with cooler conditions forecast. Has he ever known an unlucky day?

    1. Rodber – what exactly do you expect from a race being held in Europe at the start of May?

      The weather conditions are exactly in line with the normal seasonal conditions for Portimao in early May – in fact, if anything the predicted air temperature of 24ÂșC would be towards the higher range of what would normally be expected in Portimao at this time of year.

      You’re basically going “how dare the climate of Portimao behaves as it normally does at this time of year!?” – there is a point where such rants start to veer into the irrational, and complaining that somebody is “lucky” because the climate is behaving exactly as expected is rather veering into that territory.

    2. Also, to add to the previous comment – if anything, having cool conditions might actually be worse for Mercedes and instead favour Red Bull.

      In Imola, Mercedes were having the problem of needing multiple laps to bring their tyres up to temperature – or, in Bottas’s case, stuck with tyres that were too cold – whereas Red Bull can bring their tyres up to temperature much more rapidly, giving them an advantage if the ambient temperatures are colder.

      If Portimao has similar weather conditions, your logic would dictate that it was actually Verstappen who would be the “lucky” driver, as the conditions would favour the characteristics of his car instead.

      1. Porblem is Red Bull losses performance fasster and have to pit sooner. I think that is the comment meaning.

        1. But that looks like it is more of an inherent trait of the car that isn’t really that weather dependent, and more of a consequence of the suspension geometry.

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