Officials at the Algarve International Circuit, better known as Portimão, have confirmed that discussions are ongoing with Formula 1 over proposals to hold a grand prix at the venue.
Formula 1 is still working on its full 2020 calendar and is understood to favour hosting further rounds in Europe, following the Italian Grand Prix, prior to the final events in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.
Three flyaway grands prix – Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japan – were cancelled on Friday and further events are due to fall in the coming weeks, with visits to the Americas deemed unlikely.
Italian venues Mugello and Imola, along with former German Grand Prix host Hockenheim, are in contention, and Portugal’s Portimão has now confirmed it is a candidate for a race.
The venue, which opened in 2008, has never held a grand prix but briefly hosted Formula 1 testing and was the location for the GP2 Series finale in 2009.
It has the FIA Grade 1 licence required to hold a Formula 1 grand prix and also has a hotel complex nearby that could house paddock personnel for the required period.
“We confirm that conversations have been going on with F1, in order to host a GP this year at our circuit,” a Portimão spokesperson said.
“We are fully committed in creating all the conditions that are needed for that to happen, and we believe our country and our circuit are the perfect venue for a new F1 race, the racetrack layout, the size of the circuit and its infrastructures, the fact that the Algarve has been almost Covid free, and the amazing weather and hotels, would surely create the perfect conditions for a great weekend.”
It is understood that the venue has been earmarked as a back-up in case Russia, due for late September, cannot hold its grand prix.
The Portuguese Grand Prix was most recently held in 1996 at Estoril.