The Algarve International Autodrome, also known as Portimao circuit, has obtained the FIA Grade 1 license as it can now hold F1-level races.
The circuit in Portugal, which was built in the Algarve region – specifically in Portimao – 12 years ago, has made some modifications that has granted it the FIA Grade 1 license. It represents the highest safety certification confirmed by the governing body.
It, therefore, has a license now to host, not only F1 races but also tests – that is unless there is anyone to back it up to bring the sessions to the circuit. Back in time, Portugal staged the grand prix races between 1984 and 1996 at the Estoril Circuit.
Portimao, on the other hand, has held F1 tests before and it was close to secure a grand prix around 2009-2010, before it fell through. It hosts other championships like World Toruing Car, World Superbike, European Le Mans Series and more.
Upon receiving the Grade 1 license from the FIA, Paulo Pinheiro, circuit director, stated: “We have been working on this since last year, since we received an inspection and the approval of Late Charlie Whiting and Eduadro Freitas.
“The required modifications have been made and we have received the highest certification from the International Automobile Federation,” he summed up in a report on Lusa Agency. It is not certain that Portiamo will return but closed door testing can still happen.
In fact, reports from MotoGP side suggests that Portimao is being kept as a reserve for future if some of the current grand prix doesn’t happen. It is too early to talk about F1 but with the return of Zandvoort, it could be an option, for testing at least.
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The article was co-written by Adria Roldan Murillo