2020 Portuguese Grand Prix: Preview
Preview of the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix
After a brilliant race at the Nurburgring which saw Lewis Hamilton take a memorable 91st victory to equal Michael Schumachers record, Formula One stays in Europe for the next round of the World Championship in Portugal.
As the Nurburgring is steeped in F1 history on both the Nordschliefe and the GP Circuit, F1s next destination, the Algarve International Circuit in Portugal is never before touched by Formula One on a race weekend.
This will also be the first time F1 has raced in Portugal since Jacques Villeneuves victory at Estoril back in 1996.
The Algarve International Circuit is a relative newcomer to the world stage having only been opened back in 2008. However this 100,000 capacity venue has attracted some big names over it's 12 year existence including the A1GP series back in 2009 and The Grand Tour who filmed their first ever episode at the track in 2016.
Image Credit: F1.com Algarve circuit layout
The Algarve International circuit is a technically challenging but super fast circuit. 4.6KM, 15 corners and one DRS zone along the main straight will present an epic challenge for the teams and drivers alike. Turn one is a super quick right hander which I'm sure the drivers will love.
Expect a lot of overtaking into the heavy braking zone of Turn 5. A left hand hairpin which is preceded by a blind brow and a drop downhill into the corner.
The final corner at Turn 15 is also particularly interesting, it is a long right sweeping downhill all the time which should be comfortably flat out in a modern F1 car. Having the ability to follow closely through there will be critical for making a pass along the main straight.
As the Algarve circuit is a completely new venue for Formula One it will be very difficult to predict the result however the Mercedes W11 driven by Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas has looked strong throughout this years World championship and more of the same is surely to come at Algarve.
Image credit: gpblog.com
There will be big pressure on Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas in Portugal after his untimely retirement at the Eifel Grand Prix last time out. Bottas has had a mixed 2020 so far with just two wins to his name in Austria and Russia alongside a collection of second and third place finishes.
With just six rounds to go in the World Championship and Bottas being a staggering 69 points behind Hamilton at the top of the standings it seems time is running out for Valtteri Bottas if he wants to clinch his maiden F1 title this year. The Finn has to win in Algarve and hope for some misfortune for Hamilton on the other side of the garage.
With all this in mind the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix promises to be an absolutely unmissable event.