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Portugal officially confirmed on 2021 F1 calendar

Portugal officially confirmed on 2021 F1 calendar

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Portugal officially confirmed on 2021 F1 calendar

Portugal officially confirmed on 2021 F1 calendar

Formula 1 has officially confirmed Portugal will take up the vacant slot on this year's calendar in early May.

While the Portimão circuit had always been the frontrunner to fill the void left by the withdrawal of the Vietnamese Grand Prix, there were doubts due to the continuing Covid-19 situation in the country.

In mid-January, the Portuguese government announced a stringent lockdown after a record-breaking spike in cases.

But F1 has remained in constant dialogue with the Portuguese GP officials and the relevant authorities, with the green light now finally being given to the race's return on May 2.

Portimão made a successful debut last season, with the track overwhelmingly liked by teams and officials.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said: “We are thrilled to announce that Formula 1 will be racing again in Portimão after the huge success of the race last year.

"We want to thank the promoter and the Portuguese government for their hard work and dedication in getting us to this point.

"We are confident and excited about our 2021 season, having shown last year that we could deliver 17 races safely and bring our millions of fans thrilling racing at a difficult time.

"We hope to welcome fans to Portimão again this season in a safe way and are working with the promoter on the details of that plan.”

At this stage, it is unknown as to the numbers of fans that will be allowed - if any.

There may be scope for Portimão to operate in a similar manner as announced by the Bahrain International Circuit on Thursday.

The BIC is to allow only those fans who have been vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19, notably that two weeks must have passed since an individual received the second dose of a vaccine, or since the date of infection, with proof required.

Regarding the prospect of fans, F1 stated: "We have been working closely with the promoter and the Portuguese government regarding fan attendance this season.

"Our first priority is the safety of our personnel and the communities we visit, and we proved last season that we can race safely in the wake of the pandemic.

"We expect a decision on fans to be taken by the authorities in the coming weeks and will provide further updates on this as soon as we know more."

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