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Portuguese GP to take vacant slot on F1 calendar

Portimao in the Algarve set to fill vacant slot on the 2021 calendar as the third round of the new season; Portugal returned to the schedule in October last year

Last Updated: 10/02/21 1:11pm

The Portuguese GP has been given the green light to fill the vacant third slot on the 2021 Formula 1 calendar in May.

It is understood that Portimao, which made its debut on last year’s reshuffled calendar, will take the May 2 date.

The news is set to be officially communicated to the teams from Formula 1 in Thursday’s meeting of the F1 Commission, when a proposal for three Saturday ‘sprint’ races is also being put to a vote.

The new season is due to start in Bahrain on March 28, with the second round at Imola on April 18.

The third race had been left vacant in the May 2 slot on the second version of the calendar published in January. As first reported by motorsport.com, Sky Sports understands that Portugal has been given the go-ahead after discussions between F1 and race organisers.

The undulating Portimao circuit in the Algarve was drafted in to hold its inaugural Grand Prix last October as F1 moved to a mostly European-based calendar due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lewis Hamilton claimed a record-breaking 92nd race win on F1's debut in the Algarve last October

Lewis Hamilton claimed a record-breaking 92nd race win on F1’s debut in the Algarve last October

Portugal will now form a back-to-back with the Spanish GP, with the Barcelona race on May 9.

Portugal is currently one of 33 countries on the United Kingdom’s ‘red list’ and, as part of new measures coming into force from Monday next week, UK and Irish residents will have to quarantine in hotels for 10 days on their return. Elite sports are not exempt from the measures, although the Grand Prix is nearly three months away.

F1 has continued to monitor the ever-changing global situation and discuss with stakeholders, with Australia’s Grand Prix last month moved back from March to November and China postponed from its April slot.

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