Portuguese GP CONFIRMED for 2021 Formula One season with Portimao hosting third race and could welcome fans

FORMULA ONE has confirmed a return to Portugal for the third race of the 2021 season.

The slot had been left open amid Vietnam's failure to pull off a much-anticipated race through the streets of Hanoi.

And F1 bosses have now confirmed the race at Portimao's Algarve International Circuit on May 2.

Last season saw Lewis Hamilton romp to victory at the track, which was drafted in during the pandemic shake-up of the calendar.

Some 27,000 fans watched the Mercedes star top Michal Schumacher's race wins record and attendees are hoped for once again in May.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said: "We hope to welcome fans to Portimao again this season in a safe way and are working with the promoter on the details of that plan."

The 23-race season begins with testing on March 12 in Bahrain before the first race at the same circuit a fortnight later.

Portugal is currently on the UK's 'red list' of travel nations, meaning anyone returning from the country must remain in a ten-day hotel quarantine.

However, team staff and drivers will travel straight to the following weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, a country not red-listed.

Last season's trip to the Algarve saw drivers tested on a notoriously undulating track, with many explaining their thrill at racing around Portimao.

But the GP itself produced little in the way of action, with world champ Hamilton cruising to victory over Valtteri Bottas by a huge 25 seconds.

After Friday practice in October, Hamilton stated: "The undulations are incredible.


"There’s a lot of places where you can’t see where you’re going. The exit of Turn 8, you’re looking at the sky for a period of time and you have no idea what’s beyond the hill.

"Also into [Turn] 11, you don’t know where you are and all of a sudden it arrives at you out of nowhere."

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc agreed, adding: "The track itself is amazing.

"It took quite a few laps to get into the rhythm because we don’t see any apexes but once you get into the rhythm then it feels very good."

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