LISBON’S AVENIDA da Liberdade was closed for Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the Renault Road Show, which showed off one Formula 1 racing car screaming up and down the nation’s main thoroughfare at 200 km/h on Sunday.
Lisbon Câmara received 80,000 euros payout and, in return, Renault was able to show off its latest models on the popular shopping street.
“It’s a disgrace, could you imagine the authorities closing Oxford Street or the Champs-Élysées for three days to stage a promotional event?” a Lisbon taxi driver told The Resident. “This just goes to prove that Portugal is a third world country with a petty minded mentality. The Câmara is strapped for cash and Renault needs to shore up its flagging car sales.”
Why couldn’t the Renault Road Show have been put at Monsanto or down at Belém, some may ask, rather than closing off its most emblematic shopping street for three straight days?
Unlike the UK where much of the population does its shopping on the high street rather than in large shopping centres, in Portugal the impact on lost trade and inconvenience was probably minimal.
From 1pm on Sunday, thousands of people began lining both sides of the Avenida, from Marquês de Pombal as far as Praça dos Restauradores to watch the Formula 1 event, but the event was more about showing off Renault’s latest commercial models.
Finally, the 700 horsepower Formula 1 car did race up and down the Avenida driven by Brazilian champion Fernando Alonso who has won the last two Formula 1 Grand Prix.
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