Formula 1 stars come to the Algarve.jpg

Formula 1 stars come to the Algarve

THREE DAYS of testing beginning on Monday will see two of the biggest teams in Formula 1, Ferrari and McLaren, putting their 2009 cars through their paces at the newly opened circuit near Portimão.

This is a chance for all Formula 1 fans to come and see the teams in action as they push the cars to the limits at the challenging new circuit.

McLaren are said to be planning to test new 2009 developmental parts including a new style front wing before the unveiling the new MP4-24 on January 16 at the McLaren UK factory in Woking.

Although the McLaren team will be in the Algarve, Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton will not as he will be in training in Finland.

Ferrari will also be testing at the motor park from Monday.  The Italian racing team will be bringing two cars to the track for the last test session of 2008, one driven by Felipe Massa and the other by Luca Badoer.

Honda will not be coming to the Algarve to test their Formula 1 cars and drivers before the 2009 season as had been anticipated.  The team announced last week that they would not be continuing in Formula 1 due to the economic downturn and drop in car sales.

Nick Fry, the Honda team chief executive officer, told the BBC: “We have had three serious people come in to see us and suggest that they would like to buy the team.”  However, it looks unlikely that the team will be in Melbourne for the start of the season and testing in the Algarve has been cancelled.

New models

Another Formula 1 team who will be in the Algarve next year are Toyota.  It has been confirmed that they will be coming to the Algarve Motor Park to test their TF108 F1 car on January 20 and will be bringing renowned racer Jarno Trulli to the track.

The A1GP of Portugal has already been confirmed as being held at the Algarve Motor Park on April 12, however, the A1GP car powered by Ferrari will be in the Algarve between January 10 and 13 for testing, giving both press and fans a chance to see the new car put through its paces at the acclaimed track.

Super bikers

Cars will not be the only stars of the show during pre-2009 season testing as all the drivers and teams from the world of Superbikes and Supersport will be at the Algarve Motor Park in January.

Three days of official testing have been confirmed for the World Superbike and World Supersport between January 23 and 25.  All the factory and private teams that are entered into the 2009 championships will be present at the track over the long weekend and this will be the first chance for fans and press to catch a glimpse of the new bikes, teams and riders in Europe before the season starts in Australia on March 1.

The official World Superbike and World Supersport 2009 championships are also to be launched at the circuit the day before the testing begins on Thursday, January 22.

McLaren and Ferrari testing at the track is open to the public between 9am and 5pm between December 15 and 17.  Entrance costs between 10 euros and 40 euros per person.  

For further information about the Algarve Motor Park and the events that are to be held at the track, please visit (available in English and Portuguese).