With it last taking place in 1996, the Portuguese Grand Prix is nothing new to Formula 1. However, a race at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve certainly is.
The Portuguese Grand Prix became an official FIA Formula One World Championship event in 1958, having been held as a non-championship event from 1951 to 1957. In 1958, the race took place at the Boavista street course in Porto, only for it to switch to Lisbon’s Monsanto Park Circuit in 1959 and then return to Boavista the following year.
The race didn’t make an appearance on the official F1 calendar again until 1984, when it was run at the Circuito do Estoril and saw Alain Prost win at the wheel of the MP4/2, while team-mate Niki Lauda followed him home in second to secure his third and final drivers’ title. It would prove to be the first of three Portuguese Grand Prix victories for Prost and McLaren, with further wins coming in ’87 and ’88.
The race fell off the calendar once again from 1997. Although there was renewed hope for its return upon the completion of the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, commonly referred to as Portimão Circuit, in 2008. But, prior to 2020, the closest the 2.9-mile circuit – renowned for its elevation changes and double-apex final corner – has come to F1 was pre-season testing in the winter of 2008-09.
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