Algarve International Circuit

The 100,000 capacity Algarve International Circuit (Portuguese: Autódromo Internacional do Algarve), commonly referred to as Portimão Circuit, is a 4.653 km (2.891 mi) race circuit located in Portimão, Portugal. With a total cost of €195 million (approximately $250 million), the project includes a karting track, technology park, five-star hotel, sports complex and apartments.[1]

Autódromo Internacional do Algarve
Autódromo do Algarve alt.svg
LocationPortimão, Algarve, Portugal
Time zoneGMT
Coordinates37°13′55″N 8°37′55″W / 37.232°N 8.632°W / 37.232; -8.632Coordinates: 37°13′55″N 8°37′55″W / 37.232°N 8.632°W / 37.232; -8.632
FIA Grade1
Major eventsFormula One
Portuguese Grand Prix (2020–present)
Portuguese motorcycle Grand Prix (2020–present)
FIA World Endurance Championship
8 Hours of Portimão (2021–present)
A1 Grand Prix Grand Prix of Nations, Portugal
FIM Superbike World Championship
FIA GT Championship Algarve 2 Hours
Le Mans Series 1000 km of Algarve
GP Circuit (2020-present)
Length4.653 km (2.891 mi)
Race lap record1:18.750 (United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 2020, Formula One)
Motorcycling Circuit (2020-present)
Length4.592 km (2.853 mi)
Race lap record1:39.855 (Portugal Miguel Oliveira, Tech3, 2020, MotoGP)
GP Circuit (2008-2019)
Length4.692 km (2.915 mi)
Race lap record1:31.404 (Republic of Ireland Adam Carroll, A1 Team Ireland, 2009, A1GP)
LMS Circuit (2008-2019)
Length4.648 km (2.888 mi)
Race lap record1:30.681 (France Nicolas Lapierre, ORECA Team Matmut, 2010, Peugeot 908 HDI FAP, LMP1)
BMW Z4 (E89) in Portimão
B09/60 Lola-Aston Martin B09/60 driven by Stefan Mücke in the 1000km do Algarve Race of the Le Mans Series 2009

Construction was finished in October 2008 and the circuit was homologated by both the FIM on 11 October 2008 and the FIA two days later.[2]

The circuit was designed by Ricardo Pina, Arquitectos. In October 2010 the teams agreed to add the Portimão Circuit to the Formula One testing roster along with Bahrain.[3]

In September 2013, the company that manages the circuit, Parkalgar Serviços, was taken over by Portugal Capital Ventures, which is a Portuguese state-owned venture capitalist, effectively placing the circuit under state management. The sale was forced by the debts accumulated by Parkalgar Serviços, believed to be approximately 160 million Euros.[4]

In July 2020 it was announced that the circuit would host the Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix from 23 to 25 October 2020, as part of a revised calendar arising from the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This marks the first time a Portuguese Grand Prix will be held since the 1996 race which was held at the Autódromo do Estoril.

In August 2020 it was announced that the circuit would host the MotoGP Portuguese Grand Prix from 20 to 22 November, as part of a revised calendar arising from the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. On 10 August 2020, MotoGP announced that the coronavirus-hit season would end with the Portuguese Grand Prix in Portimão.[5]

In January 2021 it was announced that the circuit would host the FIA World Endurance Championship 8 Hours of Portimão instead of 1000 Miles to Sebring on 4 April due to the disruption of COVID-19 pandemic.[6]

The circuitEdit

The circuit hosted the final round of the World Superbike Championship on 2 November 2008.[1] On 9 June, the track was confirmed to host a round of the 2008-09 A1 Grand Prix season. The race was set for the weekend of 12 April 2009. On 10 October 2008, the Le Mans Series announced a 1000 km night race to be held at Algarve on 2 August 2009.[7] On 5 November 2008, the FIA GT Championship announced and 7th round of the 2009 season will be held at Algarve on 13 September 2009.[8] A Formula One test session, with the McLaren and Honda teams participating, was scheduled for 15–17 December 2008. Ferrari also ran at Algarve.[9][10][11][12][13] Toyota also tested at the circuit on 20 January 2009 in the first outing of their new TF109 chassis.[14] The circuit will also host the final round of the 2009 GP2 Series season in September 2009.[15] From 2010 it hosted a round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship.[16]

On 4 April 2009 Max Mosley stated that based on the quality of the circuit it could integrate the Formula One championship under the guise of the Portuguese Grand Prix, as long as a commercial agreement with the Formula One Management was achieved.[17] Due to changes to the 2020 Formula One season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Algarve International Circuit has by way of exception hosted the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix.[18]

The circuit resembles old Nürburgring and Spa-Francorchamps, mainly because of its constantly undulating nature. A1 Team Portugal's driver Filipe Albuquerque observed that there are big downhill slopes and right-hand turns after the main straight. He also commented that the track is good for overtaking because of the circuit width. A1 Team New Zealand's driver Earl Bamber observed that there are many special turns with personality. He commented that the new circuit is a little bit dangerous like the old school circuits with a roller coaster ride. A1 Team France's driver Nicolas Prost commented that the asphalt was new and the circuit has little grip.

The first episode of The Grand Tour, "The Holy Trinity" was shot here in 2016.

Craig Jones memorialEdit

The circuit is the site of a statue in tribute to Craig Jones, representing Jones on his motorbike after passing the finishing line. This statue will be the main part of a monument, already partially built, which also includes the architectural arrangement of the main access roundabout to the racetrack, created by Paula Hespanha and Portuguese architect Manuel Pedro Ferreira Chaves. This monument is a landscape sculpture, representing the main straight of a racing circuit, which extends up to the car park of the main grandstand. It has been confirmed that one of the corners of the circuit was named after former World Supersport rider Craig Jones who was killed in a motorcycle crash at Brands Hatch in 2008.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Algarve International circuit launched". Archived from the original on 11 April 2008. Retrieved 21 February 2008.
  2. ^ "FIA homologa Autódromo do Algarve". Retrieved 24 October 2008.
  3. ^ "Portimao set to join F1 testing roster". Autosport. 12 October 2010.
  4. ^ "Autódromo do Algarve passa para as mãos do Estado Português". Sul Informação. 23 September 2013.
  5. ^ "MotoGP season to end in Portugal on November 22". 10 August 2020. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  6. ^ "Portimão to replace Sebring for 2021 FIA WEC season-opener". Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  7. ^ "The 2009 calendar is ready!". Le Mans Series. Archived from the original on 19 November 2008. Retrieved 12 October 2008. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. ^ "FIA GT 2009 calendar announced". Archived from the original on 10 December 2008. Retrieved 6 November 2008.
  9. ^ "McLaren vai estrear Portimão em Novembro". Archived from the original on 2 November 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2008.
  10. ^ "Portimão: autódromo recebe McLaren Mercedes". Archived from the original on 16 April 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2008.
  11. ^ "McLaren plant Test in Portugal". Archived from the original on 26 October 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2008.
  12. ^ "McLaren confirm maiden Algarve test". Autosport. 24 October 2008. Archived from the original on 27 October 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2008.
  13. ^ "Honda to join McLaren in Algarve". 24 October 2008. Archived from the original on 27 October 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2008.
  14. ^ "Toyota to hold low-key TF109 unveiling". 26 November 2008. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved 26 November 2008.
  15. ^ "Algarve to host 2009 GP2 finale". 30 October 2008. Archived from the original on 2 November 2008. Retrieved 30 October 2008.
  16. ^ English, Steven (24 June 2009). "WTCC to Zolder and Algarve in 2010". Haymarket Publications.
  17. ^ "Fórmula 1: Max Mosley diz que Autódromo do Algarve pode integrar calendário" (in Portuguese). 4 April 2009. Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
  18. ^ "Formula 1 adds Portimao, Nurburgring and 2-day event in Imola to 2020 race calendar". 24 July 2020. Retrieved 24 July 2020.

External linksEdit

  • Official website
  • Track maps and history at
  • 3D preview of the Craig Jones Memorial, partially built, in the main access of the Algarve Motor Park - YouTube [1]
  • “Craig Jones remembered with statue honor” in Algarve resident (30 October 2009) [2]
  • “Craig Jones memorial removed” in Algarve resident (5 November 2009) [3]
  • (in Portuguese)Paula Hespanha expõe estátua de Craig Jones” in Jornal Hardmusica (October 2009) [4]
  • (in Portuguese) “Memorial Craig Jones em Portimão” in Atrox Mobilis – Motos e Mobilidade (22 October 2009) (contains a 3D preview of the Craig Jones Memorial) [5]