Formula 1 has officially confirmed that Portimao will host the Heineken Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix on May 2. In October last year, F1 had returned to Portugal for the first time in 25 years. The event then had witnessed Lewis Hamilton claim a record 92nd career win ahead of contenders Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen. However, it remains to be seen if fans are allowed to attend the event.
Notably, as many as 27,000 fans were present last time around but as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to pose a threat, with over 63,000 active cases in the country, it could be a different picture this time around. The Portuguese Grand Prix is part of F1's plan to hold its longest-ever season of 23 races this year.
Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1 has expressed his delight on the prospect of racing again in Portugal. “We are thrilled to announce that Formula 1 will be racing again in Portimao after the huge success of the race last year,” he was quoted by the official website of F1.
Confident and excited about 2021 season: Domenicali
“We want to thank the promoter and the Portuguese Government for their hard work and dedication in getting us to this point. 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. 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,” he added.
Hosting major events crucial for international promotion of Portugal as tourist destination
Rita Marques, Portugal’s Secretary of State of Tourism highlighted how holding major events in the country is crucial to promote tourism. "I want to thank the FIA and F1 for its confidence in Portugal, the Algarve and the Algarve International Racetrack by choosing our country to host a stage of the F1 calendar, and to express our full commitment to make it a big success," he said.