Portuguese GP: Preview – Ferrari


The third round of this year’s Formula 1 World Championship takes place at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, near Portimao. As with the Sakhir and Imola Grands Prix, the drivers find themselves on a track that they last rode a few months ago. Last year’s Portuguese Grand Prix took place on October 25.

In 2020, the riders were unanimous in their praise for the track, which they found challenging and fun, with its ups and downs and many blind turns. The circuit has two very long straights in the first sector, where a good top speed is vital, while the second sector is very different, being more twisty. It is in fact in this sector that one finds many of the changes in slope where a driver must rely on his instincts and have complete confidence in his car. The last part features medium-high speed turns, especially the last one that leads to the start-finish straight. There are two DRS zones: on the main straight and between turns 4 and 5.

Ferrari at the Portuguese GP

GP registered 17
Beginning of 1958 (M. Hawthorn 2nd; W. Von Trips 5th)
Wins 2 (11.76%)
Poles positions 3 (17.65%)
Fastest laps 4 (23.53%)
Total podiums 9 (17.65%)

Portuguese Grand Prix: facts and figures

4. The racing laps led by Carlos Sainz on the Portimao circuit. On slick tires on a wet track, the Spaniard got off to an excellent start for the 2020 GP from seventh place on the grid. It was the second time he has led a Grand Prix, having been ahead during a tour of the Italian GP last year, where he ultimately finished second.

18 + 2. The number of districts that make up Portugal, including the two autonomous islands of Madeira and the Azores. The circuit is located in the Algarve, the eighth most populous region, the first three being Lisbon, Porto and Setubal. The main city is Faro and has just over 450,000 inhabitants.

32. The number of potential configurations of the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, which was built in 2008. They range from the shortest (3,465 km) to the longest (4,684 km).

58. The number of overtakes in the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix, which was a record for the season. This was partly due to the wet track in the early stages and the spectacular nature of the circuit. This race was well ahead of the second Styrian Grand Prix at Spielberg, which featured 45 passing moves. The race with the fewest position changes last year was Emilia Romagna at Imola, with just six.

650. The number of Formula 1 World Championship races contested in Europe, including this Sunday, out of a total of 1037. America comes next with 207, followed by Asia with 121, Oceania with 35 and Africa with 24.

This week in Ferrari history

28/4. In 1974, Niki Lauda won the Spanish Grand Prix in a 312 B3-74. For the Scuderia, this ended a barren period that had lasted more than a year since Jacky Ickx won the 1972 German Grand Prix. It was the fiftieth victory for the Italian team, while Clay Regazzoni’s second place meant it was also the Scuderia’s 28th double. That year the Swiss rider won in Germany and was in the title fight with Emerson Fittipaldi until the final, while Lauda also won in Holland.

29/4. In 1984, Michele Alboreto won in Belgium. It was his first victory behind the wheel of a Ferrari (the 126 C4). The Milanese thus became the eighth Italian to win behind the wheel of a prancing horse-drawn carriage, 18 years after Ludovico Scarfiotti’s success at Monza in 1966. The other six drivers are: Alberto Ascari, Piero Taruffi, Giuseppe Farina, Luigi Musso, Giancarlo Baghetti and Lorenzo Bandini.

30/4. After four months of racing in 2019, the “Michael 50” exhibition, dedicated to Michael Schumacher’s fiftieth, has come to an end. The exhibition told the extraordinary story of the career of the seven-time German world champion with Ferrari, through the most important cars he drove. He won 72 Grands Prix with the Scuderia, winning five driver titles and six constructors’ titles.

1/5. In 1983, Patrick Tambay triumphed at the Grand Prix of San Marino at Imola in a 126 C2B. It was the Frenchman’s second and last victory with Scuderia Ferrari. That year, he and his teammate and compatriot René Arnoux awarded an eighth constructors’ title for the Maranello brand.

2/5. In 1999, Michael Schumacher won the Grand Prix of San Marino at Imola. The German takes the lead in the championship standings, succeeding his teammate Eddie Irvine. It was Michael’s 15th victory with Scuderia Ferrari, putting him tied with Niki Lauda for the top of the table for most wins with the Italian squad.

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