Round three of the 2021 Formula 1 season is set to take place at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, although the final decision on whether Portugal will host a race for a second consecutive season is still to be made.
Portugal returned to the Formula 1 schedule in 2020 for the first time since 1996 thanks to the drastic rescheduling of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Lewis Hamilton took the victory ahead of Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team team-mate Valtteri Bottas. It was the first time that the Portimão track had hosted a Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Ni Amorim, the president of the Portuguese Automobile and Karting Federation (FPAK), says talks are ongoing with regards to the Portimão remaining on the calendar for a second consecutive season, although the situation is very different to how it was last October.
Portugal is currently undergoing a lockdown thanks to COVID-19, although the vaccine is being rolled out across the country. The hope is to have a full crowd in attendance should the race join the schedule for 2021.
“The 2020 GP gave an extraordinary return, but it is understood that this is a different situation, and for the government there may be more urgent priorities,” Amorim said to the Lusa agency. “In any case, I am very optimistic, I expect a decision by the end of February.
“I am a moderate optimist,” Amorim is further quoted as saying to Portuguese publication Expresso by PlanetF1.com. “In May, we can be in a position (to host the race) due to the lockdown that is starting now and the vaccinations which are happening daily.
“It is natural that in three or four months we can have a completely different situation from the one we have now. If that is the case, then we will be in a position to host the Grand Prix.”