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The Portuguese Grand Prix 2021 Begins

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Partha Pratim Ray
Partha Pratim Ray
Senior journalist covering topics related to sports and corporate communication.

PORTUGAL: Formula 1 Heineken Grande Prémio De Portugal 2021, The Portuguese Grand Prix started today at Algarve International Circuit located just outside of Portimao, a popular holiday destination in Portugal.

The defending Champion, Lewis Hamilton

After two action-driven racing rounds in Bahrain and at Imola, Sir. Lewis Hamilton leads by one point in F1 world drivers’ championship standings followed by Max Verstappen. In October 2020, Hamilton took his 92nd race win, passing seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher’s record for most Grand Prix wins. He finished ahead of his teammate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in 3rd position.

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The circuit went through trial and error

The circuit, which has been there for some time went for a major upgrade in 2008. The 4.6 km new track comprising of hairpins and 16 turns together with an undulating layout is designed by Ricardo Pina, Arquitectos. It opened in 2008 after being homologated by The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), the global governing/sanctioning body of motorcycle racing and The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the governing body for many auto racing events like the Formula One.

Initially, the track was used for F1 pre-season testing along with Bahrain. In October 2020, the track hosted the Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix as part of a revised calendar.

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A real roller coaster circuit

The Portimao circuit offers a roller coaster ride, with several ups and downs, blind curves and points without proper visibility, and a few notorious ‘Turns’.  ‘Turn 3’ and ‘Turn 13’ that leads to a hairpin can pose serious challenge to a driver along with ‘Turn 11’ and ‘Turn 12’.  The fast-paced ‘Turn 15’ also promises to provide an epic thrill.

The weather forecast

As the Race begins this time; the temperatures are expected to be on the warmer side with no incidence of rain during the event. Last year the race was washed by rain as Lewis Hamilton took his 92nd Grand Prix victory with his teammate Valtteri Bottas coming second and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen picking up the third position.

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The third round in Portugal is expected to witness the extreme competition between Mercedes’s Sir. Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Both of them have won one race each this season. While Mercedes cars might have an upper hand in this circuit, Red Bull will have to go all out to outpace the German Team. We must also not forget the Ferrari driver, Charles Leclerc who finished fourth last year. Given his outstanding performance this season, he is the person to watch for.

Coming next is the ‘Spanish Grand Prix‘, scheduled from May 7 to 9, 2021, at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Click here to view the complete Formula One race Calendar for 2021.


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