Formula 1 returns to Portugal for the first time in 24 years as Algarve set to become 73rd circuit to host an F1 race. The Algarve International circuit commonly known as Portimao circuit will make its Formula 1 debut this weekend.
The circuit of 4.653km will have 66 lap race with a total distance of 306.826km. The track held F1 pre-season testing in the winter on 2008/09. A few drivers in the grid have raced at the circuit in their junior categories. The list includes Daniel Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas and Charles Leclerc. Moreover, Nicholas Latifi and George Russell tested for Mercedes at Algarve in 2017.
History of F1 races in Portugal
Portugal have hosted 16 F1 World Championship races so far with Estoril, Porto and Monsanto hosting 13, 2 and 1 races respectively. Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell are the successful drivers with 3 wins in Portugal. Ayrton Senna has more pole positions at Portugal with 3 to his name.
The Portuguese GP has seen debut wins for Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard. On top of it, Alain Prost won his 4th and final World Championship at Estoril in 1993. However, Ayrton Senna’s first win, and Nigel Mansell’s black flag incident stands out the most.
Ayrton Senna’s first win
Ayrton Senna made his mark with 3 podiums for Toleman in 1984, with one of them at the inaugural race at Estoril. However, he achieved his first career win in 1985 Portuguese GP with a stunning drive in wet weather conditions. He won the race by dominant fashion with a 1-minute lead over the second-placed Ferrari of Micheal Alboreto. Moreover, he lapped all but second-placed Ferrari.