“We will be in a position to host the Grand Prix” – The Portimao circuit is likely to replace Vietnam in the F1 2021 Calendar, pending government approval.
The F1 2021 Calendar has already seen a few modifications since the initial draft was released. Firstly, the Vietnam GP was not considered for a debut ultimately, leaving the Round 3 vacant. Then came the postponement of the season-opening Australian GP due to Covid-related concerns. Significantly, the Chinese GP has not made the calendar for the second consecutive season, with Imola confirmed as the second race of the season, following the new season-opener at Bahrain.
The overwhelming favorite for R3 to replace Vietnam is the Portuguese Grand Prix at Portimao. It had a good outing last season and was well received by the drivers. Lewis Hamilton ultimately won the race, but the star of the show was the veteran Kimi Raikkonen and his insane first lap.
Big reshuffle of the F1 Calendar. Glad that a space could be found for Australia, not sure where a space for China will be found unless a race drops out. Imola could be chilly, but fun that early in April and the TBC as I understand it will be Portimao pic.twitter.com/3AJLkrmAPy
— David Croft (@CroftyF1) January 12, 2021
Portuguese government approval required for Portimao
Speaking to the Lusa agency, the president of the Portuguese Automobile and Karting Federation (FPAK), Ni Amorim, confirmed that talks were at an advanced stage. The final approval needs to come from the government, and then the lights will go out.
“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. In any case, I am very optimistic, I expect a decision by the end of February.”
“I am a moderate optimist. 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.”
Current F1 2021 calendar (without Portuguese GP)
March 28 – Bahrain (Sakhir)
April 18 – Italy (Imola)
May 2 – TBC (TBC)
May 9 – Spain (Barcelona)
May 23 – Monaco (Monaco)
June 6 – Azerbaijan (Baku)
June 13 – Canada (Montreal)
June 27 – France (Le Castellet)
July 4 – Austria (Spielberg)
July 18 – United Kingdom (Silverstone)
August 1 – Hungary (Budapest)
August 29 – Belgium (Spa)
September 5 – Netherlands (Zandvoort)
September 12 – Italy (Monza)
September 26 – Russia (Sochi)
October 3 – Singapore (Singapore)
October 10 – Japan (Suzuka)
October 24 – USA (Austin)
October 31 – Mexico (Mexico City)
November 7 – Brazil (Sao Paulo)
November 21 – Australia (Melbourne)
December 5 – Saudi Arabia (Jeddah)
December 12 – Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi)