It’s confirmed! Algarve racetrack ready to host F1 races

The Algarve’s International Racetrack (AIA) is now ready to host Formula 1 races after receiving the highest certification possible from the International Automobile Federation (FIA).

The news has been confirmed by Paulo Pinheiro, CEO of Parkalgar which manages the racetrack.

“We have been trying for this since last year when we received an inspection carried out by the late Charlie Whiting and Eduardo Freitas. The changes requested by FIA were made and we have now received the highest level of certification from the federation,” he told Lusa news agency.

In fact, Pinheiro says that the racetrack has already signed an agreement with a Formula 1 team which will carry out tests in Portimão in November. He did not reveal which team, however, due to a “confidentiality agreement”.

The racetrack will also try to bring the Formula 1 winter tests, which have been held in Barcelona recently, to the Algarve.

The racetrack has never hosted a Formula 1 Grand Prix, although it has hosted several tests. Between December 2008 and January 2009, major teams such as Ferrari, McLaren, Toyota, Renault, Toro Rosso and Williams chose the Algarve for test drives, followed by McLaren again and Mercedes AMG in 2016.

MotoGP could come to Portimão
Another goal is to bring the MotoGP Championship, considered the pinnacle class of international motorcycle racing, to the racetrack.

“It is one of the possibilities,” said Pinheiro, adding: “Let’s see how the pandemic evolves.”

The coronavirus pandemic has taken its toll on nearly all sectors of society and racing competitions are no exception.

As Pinheiro admits, “unless there are significant changes, race organisers won’t be able to follow current calendars. At the moment, there are more races than dates allocated.”

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com