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Portuguese Grand Prix - a guide to Portimão

Portuguese Grand Prix - a guide to Portimão

F1 News

Portuguese Grand Prix - a guide to Portimão

Portuguese Grand Prix - a guide to Portimão

F1 arrives at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve for the Portuguese Grand Prix and round three of the 2021 F1 championship this weekend.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton goes into the race holding a slender one-point lead over Red Bull rival Max Verstappen after two blockbuster races in Bahrain and Imola to kick-off the campaign.

It will be the second year in succession Portugal is on the calendar, again filling in for postponements in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Whilst the teams got an eye in last October, here is a refresher of one of F1's newest venues.

The circuit

The circuit is a real test for the drivers. Undulations, undulations and more undulations characterise this 4.684km circuit, which has not been dubbed 'the rollercoaster' for nothing. It is certainly a real challenge, with very little flat surface throughout the lap.

The start-finish straight is nearly a kilometre long before the track plunges down into the braking zone for turn one, a medium-to-high speed right-hand flick that caused drama last year with Lance Stroll and Lando Norris colliding.

This is followed by another right-handed kink that leads into the first bonafide braking zone at turn three.

The hairpin tightens through to the exit of the corner before the cars blast uphill and over a crest at turn four, which leads onto a straight. In a change to last season, this has now become a designated DRS zone.

Turn five is a hairpin that saw plenty of action in last year's race, not least Carlos Sainz taking the lead for McLaren, before a left-handed kink at six which is unlikely to pose any issues.

Turns seven and eight are downhill through braking and represent an elongated version of Bahrain's turn nine-10 complex, with a double apex to be negotiated.

Traction will be key on exit as the cars rise over yet another crest, before swooping downhill through the fast turn nine.

Another tricky double-apex braking zone follows on the crown of the rise, with turn 11 tightening before the cars head down a significant drop, again sweeping left before hitting the brakes for a slow, tight left-hander.

The final two corners will highlight which teams' cars possess most grip, with the first right-hander slower than initially looks possible, while the final corner is a long and sweeping which leads onto the DRS-laden home straight and affords drivers a chance to draw breath.

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