Algarve International Circuit
Configuration for FIA sanctioned events
|Location||Portimão, Algarve, Portugal|
|Major events||Formula One |
Portuguese Grand Prix (2020–present)
Portuguese motorcycle Grand Prix (2020–present)
FIA World Endurance Championship
8 Hours of Portimão (2021)
European Le Mans Series 1000 km of Algarve (2009–2010, 2017–present)
FIM Superbike World Championship (2008–2015, 2017–present)
FIA WTCC Race of Portugal (2010, 2012)
A1 Grand Prix Grand Prix of Nations, Portugal (2009)
FIA GT Championship Algarve 2 Hours (2009)
|GP Circuit (2008–present)|
|Length||4.653 km (2.891 mi)|
|Race lap record||1:18.750 (Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 2020, Formula One)|
|Motorcycling Circuit (2008–present)|
|Length||4.592 km (2.853 mi)|
|Race lap record||1:39.450 (Álex Rins, Suzuki MotoGP, 2021, MotoGP)|
|GP Circuit with Chicane (2008–2019)|
|Length||4.684 km (2.911 mi)|
|Race lap record||1:32.113 (Diego Nunes, iSport International, 2009, GP2)|
The Algarve International Circuit (Portuguese: Autódromo Internacional do Algarve), commonly referred to as Portimão Circuit, is a 4.653 km (2.891 mi) race circuit located in Portimão, Portugal. The project includes a karting track, technology park, five-star hotel, sports complex and apartments.
Construction was finished in October 2008 and the circuit was homologated by both the FIM on 11 October 2008 and the FIA two days later. The total cost was €195 million (approximately $250 million).
The circuit was designed by Ricardo Pina, Arquitectos. In October 2010 the teams agreed to add the Portimão Circuit to the Formula One testing roster along with Bahrain.
In September 2013, the company that manages the circuit, Parkalgar Serviços, was taken over by Portugal Capital Ventures, which is a Portuguese state-owned venture capitalist, effectively placing the circuit under state management. The sale was forced by the debts accumulated by Parkalgar Serviços, believed to be approximately 160 million Euros.
In July 2020 it was announced that the circuit would host the Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix from 23 to 25 October 2020, as part of a revised calendar arising from the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This marked the first time a Portuguese Grand Prix was held since the 1996 race, which had taken place at the Autódromo do Estoril. The circuit hosted the Portuguese Grand Prix again in 2021.
In August 2020 it was announced that the circuit would host the MotoGP Portuguese Grand Prix from 20 to 22 November, as part of a revised calendar arising from the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. On 10 August 2020, MotoGP announced that the coronavirus-hit season would end with the Portuguese Grand Prix in Portimão. The circuit hosted the Portuguese motorcycle Grand Prix again in 2021 from 16 April to 18 April.
In January 2021 it was announced that the circuit would host the FIA World Endurance Championship 8 Hours of Portimão instead of 1000 Miles of Sebring on 4 April due to the disruption of COVID-19 pandemic. However, on 5 March 2021; the round was postponed into the original date of 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans, 13 June in order to increase the possibility of fans being able to attend the race.
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The circuit hosted the final round of the World Superbike Championship on 2 November 2008. On 9 June, the track was confirmed to host a round of the 2008-09 A1 Grand Prix season. The race was set for the weekend of 12 April 2009. On 10 October 2008, the Le Mans Series announced a 1000 km night race to be held at Algarve on 2 August 2009. On 5 November 2008, the FIA GT Championship announced and 7th round of the 2009 season will be held at Algarve on 13 September 2009. A Formula One test session, with the McLaren and Honda teams participating, was scheduled for 15–17 December 2008. Ferrari also ran at Algarve. Toyota also tested at the circuit on 20 January 2009 in the first outing of their new TF109 chassis. The circuit will also host the final round of the 2009 GP2 Series season in September 2009. From 2010 it hosted a round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship.
On 4 April 2009 Max Mosley stated that based on the quality of the circuit it could integrate the Formula One championship under the guise of the Portuguese Grand Prix, as long as a commercial agreement with the Formula One Management was achieved. Due to changes to the 2020 Formula One season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Algarve International Circuit has by way of exception hosted the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix.
The circuit resembles old Nürburgring and Spa-Francorchamps, mainly because of its constantly undulating nature. A1 Team Portugal's driver Filipe Albuquerque observed that there are big downhill slopes and right-hand turns after the main straight. He also commented that the track is good for overtaking because of the circuit width. A1 Team New Zealand's driver Earl Bamber observed that there are many special turns with personality. He commented that the new circuit is a little bit dangerous like the old school circuits with a roller coaster ride. A1 Team France's driver Nicolas Prost commented that the asphalt was new and the circuit has little grip.
Craig Jones memorial
The circuit is the site of a statue in tribute to Craig Jones, representing Jones on his motorbike after passing the finishing line. This statue will be the main part of a monument, already partially built, which also includes the architectural arrangement of the main access roundabout to the racetrack, created by Paula Hespanha and Portuguese architect Manuel Pedro Ferreira Chaves. This monument is a landscape sculpture, representing the main straight of a racing circuit, which extends up to the car park of the main grandstand. It has been confirmed that one of the corners of the circuit was named after former World Supersport rider Craig Jones who was killed in a motorcycle crash at Brands Hatch in 2008.
The official race lap records at the Algarve International Circuit are listed as:
- "Algarve International circuit launched". worldsbk.com. Archived from the original on 11 April 2008. Retrieved 21 February 2008.
- "FIA homologa Autódromo do Algarve". Retrieved 24 October 2008.
- "Portimao set to join F1 testing roster". Autosport. 12 October 2010.
- "Autódromo do Algarve passa para as mãos do Estado Português". Sul Informação. 23 September 2013.
- "Formula 1 confirms Portuguese Grand Prix will take place on May 2 calendar slot". formula1.com. 5 March 2021. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
- "MotoGP season to end in Portugal on November 22". france24.com. 10 August 2020. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
- "Portimão to replace Sebring for 2021 FIA WEC season-opener". www.fiawec.com. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
- "Portimão shifted to June; Spa-Francorchamps set to host FIA WEC season-opener". www.fiawec.com. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
- "The 2009 calendar is ready!". Le Mans Series. Archived from the original on 19 November 2008. Retrieved 12 October 2008. Cite journal requires
- "FIA GT 2009 calendar announced". fiagt.com. Archived from the original on 10 December 2008. Retrieved 6 November 2008.
- "McLaren vai estrear Portimão em Novembro". Autosport.pt. Archived from the original on 2 November 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2008.
- "Portimão: autódromo recebe McLaren Mercedes". Archived from the original on 16 April 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2008.
- "McLaren plant Test in Portugal". Archived from the original on 26 October 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2008.
- "McLaren confirm maiden Algarve test". Autosport. 24 October 2008. Archived from the original on 27 October 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2008.
- "Honda to join McLaren in Algarve". Autosport.com. 24 October 2008. Archived from the original on 27 October 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2008.
- "Toyota to hold low-key TF109 unveiling". ITV-F1.com. 26 November 2008. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved 26 November 2008.
- "Algarve to host 2009 GP2 finale". autosport.com. 30 October 2008. Archived from the original on 2 November 2008. Retrieved 30 October 2008.
- English, Steven (24 June 2009). "WTCC to Zolder and Algarve in 2010". autosport.com. Haymarket Publications.
- "Fórmula 1: Max Mosley diz que Autódromo do Algarve pode integrar calendário" (in Portuguese). expresso.pt. 4 April 2009. Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
- "Formula 1 adds Portimao, Nurburgring and 2-day event in Imola to 2020 race calendar". Formula1.com. 24 July 2020. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
- "4 Hours of Portimão Race Final Classification by Driver Fastest Lap" (PDF). elms.alkamelsystems.com. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
- "2021 8 Hours of Portimão Race Provisional Classification by Category" (PDF). fiawec.alkamelsystems.com. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
- "2010 1000 km of Algarve Timing Results" (PDF). elms.alkamelsystems.com. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
- "2009 Algarve Euro F3000". Retrieved 24 July 2021.
- "2014 Algarve Acceleration FA1". Retrieved 13 June 2021.
- "2009 Formula Renault 3.5 Series Algarve Timing Results" (PDF). Retrieved 30 March 2021.
- "2012 F2 Round 3 Results". Retrieved 10 May 2021.
- "2021 Euroformula Open Portimão Race 2 Results" (PDF). Retrieved 2 May 2021.
- "2020 Michelin Le Mans Cup Portimao Round Final Classification" (PDF). Retrieved 18 May 2021.
- "2009 Algarve British F3 - Round 18". Retrieved 24 July 2021.
- "2009 Algarve FIA GT". Retrieved 24 July 2021.
- "2021 F4 Spain Portimao Round Race 2 Results" (PDF). Retrieved 20 July 2021.
- "2019 Superbike World Championship Algarve Session Facts". Retrieved 14 March 2021.
- "Supersport 300 Acerbis Portuguese Round, 6-8 September 2019 Results Race" (PDF). Retrieved 13 June 2021.
- "2015 FIA Formula 3 European Championship Algarve Session Facts". Retrieved 14 March 2021.
- "2015 Blancpain Sprint Series Algarve". Retrieved 30 March 2021.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.|
- Official website
- Track maps and history at RacingCircuits.info
- 3D preview of the Craig Jones Memorial, partially built, in the main access of the Algarve Motor Park - YouTube 
- “Craig Jones remembered with statue honor” in Algarve resident (30 October 2009) 
- “Craig Jones memorial removed” in Algarve resident (5 November 2009) 
- (in Portuguese) ”Paula Hespanha expõe estátua de Craig Jones” in Jornal Hardmusica (October 2009) 
- (in Portuguese) “Memorial Craig Jones em Portimão” in Atrox Mobilis – Motos e Mobilidade (22 October 2009) (contains a 3D preview of the Craig Jones Memorial)