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Algarve is ready for Formula 1
The Algarve has high aspirations regarding its race track and of course the great objective of its leaders is to be able to inscribe this beautiful circuit in the biggest discipline of the world auto racing.
Paulo Pinheiro says that the Algarve track and the Algarve region itself are ready and have all the conditions to receive the grand prize of Formula 1. But does it arrive?
Read what Parkalgar CEO says to The Portugal News.
The Portimão Circuit is “fantastic and the Algarve is more than prepared to host a Formula One Grand Prix”, the CEO of Parkalgar, which manages the track, told The Portugal News this week, Paulo Pinheiro, who has been at the forefront of the circuit since its inauguration almost a decade ago, said talks are ongoing with the bosses at Formula One.
He declined to reveal exact details of the meetings, but made it clear that they were pushing to host as many races as possible, “including a Formula One Grand Prix.”
Pinheiro said the Algarve was equipped to deal with a sporting event of this magnitude, and would be ready to welcome the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel at the shortest possible notice.
Hosting a Formula One race does come with substantial costs however, with some reports suggesting the Portuguese Government had pledged its financial backing to hosting a race.
But the Parkalgar CEO was adamant that no discussions, formal or otherwise, have as yet taken place between himself and the Government with the objective of securing funding.
But a 2013 study published by Diário de Notícias estimated that just the mere return of Formula One testing to the Algarve Motorpark in Portimão would result in a minimum cash injection of ten million euros into the regional economy.
Those ten million euros would be achieved by restaurants, hotels and other forms of accommodation, car hire and flights, with many more millions set to be generated through indirect income.
No research has yet been conducted to ascertain the potential monetary benefits from hosting an actual Grand Prix at the Algarve track, but they would most certainly be far more substantial than those obtained as a result of testing.
The news comes after the circuit received the highest rating by the FIA, the world governing body of motor sport, which allows Portimão to host an F1 race.
Paulo Pinheiro said that a number of improvements have been effected at the track, led them to receiving the highest possible FIA grading just over a month ago.
He recently told Portuguese publication Autosport that “a Formula One race will always be good and very interesting, be it for the use as a circuit or for tourism, as the economic impact will be tremendous and so too the exposure, especially in a low season month like February.”
Reports of interest in the Portimão Circuit in hosting a Grand Prix were first revealed this week by racing site Motorsport.com which said that it comes at a time when F1 commercial boss Sean Bratches and sporting chief Ross Brawn are formulating next year’s calendar.
The publication said that Brawn is keen for quality over quantity, while Bratches has said the new owners are being “proactive” in targeting markets to where it wants to take F1, with a view to expanding the calendar beyond 21 races from 2019.
Those markets have been outlined as Europe, Asia and North and Latin America.
The Portuguese Grand Prix last took place in 1996, with Estoril hosting 13 successive F1 grand prix races from 1984.
source: The Portugal News
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