Formula 1 has confirmed it will return to the Autodromo do Algarve in Portugal for third round of this year’s world championship. The race will take place on May 2nd, filling the ‘to be confirmed’ slot on the schedule. The announcement completes the 23-round F1 calendar for 2021, which is the longest the sport has ever held.
“We want to thank the promoter and the Portuguese government for their hard work and dedication in getting us to this point,” said Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.
“We are confident and excited about our 2021 season, having shown last year that we could deliver 17 races safely and bring our millions of fans thrilling racing at a difficult time. 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 venue near Portimao held its first round of the world championship last year. It was added to the schedule as a result of the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to the cancellation of most rounds outside Europe. Lewis Hamilton won the race, which was Formula 1’s first Portuguese Grand Prix for 24 years.
Aside from a broken drain which disrupted one practice session, Algarve’s first F1 race weekend went smoothly. The track was largely praised by drivers, including Hamilton, who described its undulating layout as “massively challenging”. Sebastian Vettel, Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly also declared themselves impressed with the circuit.
No details have been confirmed regarding the possible attendance of fans at the race. Yesterday the Bahrain Grand Prix promoters confirmed their season-opening round in three weeks time will only be open to those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 or have recovered from the virus.