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Williams entering Portuguese GP blind without Portimão simulator

Williams entering Portuguese GP blind without Portimão simulator

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Williams entering Portuguese GP blind without Portimão simulator

Williams entering Portuguese GP blind without Portimão simulator

Willaims driver Nicholas Latifi has revealed to heading into this weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix virtually blind as the team does not have the Portimão circuit on its simulator programme.

The Algarve International Circuit will host the country's first F1 race since 1996 after being drafted in to bolster a calendar hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

As the second of the new circuits this season, teams will arrive with little-to-no data, although some drivers will at least have undertaken simulator running as part of their preparation for the inaugural event.

Latifi, however, has pointed to onboard videos as his learning tool in the absence of a simulator programme.

"I have driven there once before, quite a few years ago to be honest so I don't remember the track so well," he said.

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"I don't think it is a track we have on the simulator either so I will probably have to watch some onboard videos, try and see if it is on any racing games I can get, not F1 simulator stuff.

"Besides that, I will just do my normal track walk and I guess that is all I really can do without actually going there to drive."

The circuit has several configurations for different series to run on, with F1 deciding on the higher-speed double-kink turn one instead of a hairpin-cum-chicane option.

George Russell voiced his concerns over the choice of layout, believing it could harm the racing - something Latifi agreed with.

"I didn't even know there was a hairpin," added Latifi, who has echoed his team-mate's concerns with regard to the first corner.

"The time I drove there, it was like a medium-to-fast speed right at turn one, if I am not mistaken.

"I guess, from my recollection of the track, turn one will really be the only overtaking opportunity because then it is really quite tight and twisty, not really any straights in the midfield section.

"We know in these cars the braking zones are so short anyway because the cars have so much grip.

"It is almost a bit like Sochi or Barcelona at turn one, it is the main overtaking opportunity but the corner isn't really slow so it just takes away the opportunity to race.

"So in that instance, it might be better to have a slower corner at turn one."

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