As fans continue to wait for confirmation of the third race location on the 2021 calendar, officials have revealed the April race slot may be filled by a weekend at the Portimao circuit in Portugal.
Portimao hosted its first-ever Grand Prix in 2020, putting the Portuguese Grand Prix back on the calendar for the first time since 1996, and last year, marked Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton’s record-breaking 92nd victory.
A release from the F1 Commission following a meeting around the upcoming season said:
“The group was updated on the ‘TBC’ space on the current version of the 2021 calendar. It is the intention of Formula 1 to fill the position with a race at Portimao in Portugal on the dates already held in the calendar.
“The final agreement is still subject to contract with the promoter.
“Robust COVID-19 protocols enabled Formula 1 to run 17 events in 2020 and will enable us to run a World Championship again in 2021.
“While changing circumstances may require flexibility, the FIA and Formula 1 are working at all levels from the government to local organisation to ensure that the calendar goes ahead as planned.”
Before confirmation of the race can be announced, the decision must be approved by the World Motor Sport Council before the Portuguese Grand Prix can officially be added to the 24 race calendar in 2021.
Meanwhile, the Commission also revealed the potential layout of 2021 race weekends amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic saying;
“All teams recognised the major importance of engaging fans in new and innovative ways to ensure an even more exciting weekend format.
“There was, therefore, broad support from all parties for a new qualifying format at some races, and a working group has been tasked with creating a complete plan with the aim to reach a final decision before the start for the 2021 Championship.”