The Algarve in southern Portugal has been chosen to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix for the first time ever this autumn. The event will take place on the weekend of 23-25 October 2020 at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao. The last time Portugal hosted a Grand Prix was 24 years ago at Estoril near Lisbon.
Portimão is a modern venue with elevation change baked into its layout. The Ricardo Pena-designed 2.9-mile lap sends drivers swooping up hill and down dale, before culminating in a plunge down to the final right-hander at Galp leading back onto the pit straight – with the double-apex, Acque Minerali-evoking Portimao corner a particular highlight.
“There will be spectators,” promised Portugal’s tourism minister Rita Marques. “We are working on a number of scenarios depending on the health situation.”
João Fernandes, president of Algarve Tourism said: “Formula 1 has been absent from Portugal for 24 years and it is a prestigious international sporting event that we have been very keen to have back for a long time.”
This achievement was the result of several years of work and a very great effort by several entities, starting with the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, with the municipality of Portimão and Algarve Tourism, involving also an essential collaboration with the state secretary of tourism and Ministry of Economy, Tourism of Portugal and regional and national health authorities, Fernandes added. “As a result of this collaboration, it was possible to transform a crisis into an opportunity. We were able to demonstrate that this is a safe destination, with a set of infrastructures to support a high quality and diversified tourist offering that enriches the stay of visitors, and that meets the necessary requirements for the safety and health of motorsport fans. This is, without a doubt, a very positive endorsement of confidence for the region”.
In addition to the projection of the Algarve brand worldwide, this event brings a new lifeline to tourism in the region. Just in terms of direct revenue from the organization and the spectators of the event, it is expected that this event will represent a value close to EUR 40 million for the region. In indirect terms and considering the multiplier effect of the revenue generated around the realisation of this initiative, the economic impact could reach EUR 80 million.