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Old 23 Oct 2020, 07:24 (Ref:4012092)   #1
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Portuguese Grand Prix 2020: Grand Prix Weekend Thread - Round 12 of 17

On a global scale, it may seem as though there has been little to celebrate this year. Being grateful for small mercies is always a worthwhile pursuit, nonetheless, and if we can look at the insular world of Formula 1 and seek solace, it can at least be said that 2020 was the year when the sport flashed back to some of its traditions. At a crossroads in the sport's history where future engine regulations are up in the air and putting the brakes on climate change is on the planet's agenda, the running of races at venues such as Mugello and the Nurburgring, as well as the return of Grands Prix previously run on the calendar, such as Turkey, is a welcome turn of events.

The Portuguese Grand Prix's history extends back to the early 1950s, making it to World Championship status in '58, although it was in the 80s that it became an established event, disappearing after 1996, despite being mooted for a return several times.

The inaugural edition was run at the Boavista street circuit in Porto in 1951 and was won by Portuguese driver Casimiro de Oliveira in a Ferrari. Ferraris took wins in the subsequent three years too (Eugenio Castellotti, José Arroyo Nogueira Pinto, José Froilán Gonzalez), including during a switch to Monsanto Park in the capital of Lisbon in 1954. Boavista returned in 1955, which saw Jean Behra take the first of two Maserati vistories in the Portuguese Grand Prix, the next coming after a year's hiatus for the event, in 1957 at Monsanto, with Juan Manuel Fangio at the wheel.

As the race joined the Formula 1 World Championship in 1958 at Boavista, it alternated each year between the Porto track and Monsanto. In the first of these events, Stirling Moss won in his Vanwall from Mike Hawthorn in the Ferrari in wet conditions, but Hawthorn was initially disqualified for driving slightly in the wrong direction when he restarted his car. Moss protested the decision, as he stated Hawthorn had been off the track when it was reported, and the decision was reversed. This good sportsmanship ultimately ensured Hawthorn kept his world championship win and Moss lost out.

Moss won in his Rob Walker Racing-run Cooper-Climax at Monsanto a year later, while Jack Brabham was thrown from his car and uninjured in an accident on Lap 23 of 62. American drivers completed the podium, with Masten Gregory 2nd for the factory team, also in a Cooper T51 and Dan Gurney 3rd for Ferrari. Jack Brabham and Bruce McLaren were 1st and 2nd in Coopers at Boavista in 1960, while Jim Clark had his first Formula 1 podium, in the Lotus.

The Portuguese Grand Prix was next run as a sportscar race in Cascais, in the Lisbon district, from 1964 to 1966, before Formula 1 returned in 1984 at the permanent circuit of Estoril, in Cascais. It was the final round of the championship, and Nigel Mansell spun in his Lotus while in 2nd, meaning that Niki Lauda finished 2nd behind McLaren team-mate Alain Prost, giving him a half-point margin over Prost to take his final world title. Ayrton Senna was 3rd for Toleman.

In 1985, and held in April, chilly and wet conditions witnessed winner Senna lapping everyone in his Lotus but eventual 2nd-place finisher Michele Alboreto in the Ferrari, after 67 laps of the 70 scheduled originally scheduled were run, due to hitting the two-hour time limit. This was Ayrton's first Formula 1 victory.

The race moved again, to Round 14, in 1986. Mansell won in the Williams, from Prost in the McLaren and team-mate Nelson Piquet. Senna had run out of fuel from 2nd on the final lap, dropping to 4th. An opening-lap collision wiped out eight cars in '87, with Prost going on to win again in the McLaren, from Gerhard Berger in the Ferrari and Piquet in the Williams. In 1988, Prost won from Ivan Capelli in the March, who had impressively passed Senna, undergoing an incorrect and overly-zealous fuel consumption readout, while Thierry Boutsen was 3rd for Benetton. Things got heated between the McLaren pair after Senna had forced Prost towards the pit wall when the Frenchman was overtaking.

Gerhard Berger won in 1989 with Ferrari, while his team-mate Mansell was shown the black flag for having reversed in the pit lane. He continued nonetheless, and collided with Ayrton Senna, taking them both out. Prost was 2nd for McLaren and Stefan Johansson a surprise 3rd for Onyx, their only podium.

Mansell survived a collision with Philippe Alliot in 1990, which eliminated the Ligier driver, to win in the Ferrari from Senna in the McLaren and Prost in the other Ferrari. Only 61 of the 71 scheduled laps were run after the race was red-flagged due to an accident between Alex Caffi and Aguri Suzuki.

Riccardo Patrese took the spoils in 1991 for Williams, from 2nd-placed Senna and Jean Alesi in the Ferrari. For the second time in Portuguese Grand Prix history, Mansell was black-flagged, this time after his pit crew fitted a wheel outside his pit box after his right-rear was not fitted correctly after pitting from the lead. This time, Mansell, took his black flag.

As was customary in 1992, Mansell won, and Berger and Senna were 2nd and 3rd for McLaren. Meanwhile, Mansell's team-mate Patrese clipped Berger's left rear tyre and was sent into a scary accident on the start-finish straight.

A year later, Alain Prost announced his retirement before the weekend and claimed 2nd place in the race to take the world championship with Williams. Michael Schumacher, meanwhile, took his second win in F1, in his Benetton. Hill completed the podium in the other Williams.

Hill rolled his car over in qualifying in 1994, but won the race, with Schumacher still banned. David Coulthard made it a Williams 1-2 and Mika Häkkinen was 3rd for McLaren. Coulthard took his maiden win in F1 in 1995 with Williams, while Schumacher was 2nd in the Benetton and Hill 3rd in the other Williams. Ukyo Katayama had a heavy collision with Luca Badoer at the start.

In 1996, Jacques Villeneuve won from Williams team-mate Hill and Ferrari's Michael Schumacher after what was regarded as an impressive move on Schumacher on the outside of the Parabolica, while lapping Giovanni Lavaggi.

The Portuguese Grand Prix was due to be the final race of 1997, but was replaced by the European Grand Prix at Jerez when it was cancelled due to renovation work on facilities not being carried out. It was also listed on the 1998 calendar, but was again dropped.

Now, finally, the country returns to the series with the Algarve International Circuit in Portimão making an appearance, currently for this year only. The drivers have praised the undulations at this track, which, like Mugello, has a decent amount of gradient variation, including at the long right-hander, Galp, where it descends.

This weekend, many eyes will be on Lewis Hamilton, to see if it is now that he becomes the most successful Formula 1 driver in history in terms of wins, hitting 92.



Circuit length: 4.653km
Number of laps: 66
Race distance: 306.826km
Race Lap Record: -
Dry weather tyre compounds: C1, C2 & C3

First Portuguese Grand Prix: 1951
First World Championship Portuguese Grand Prix: 1958
First Grand Prix at this circuit: 2020



Join the fun in the Predictions Contest and Fantasy F1:

https://tentenths.com/forum/showthread.php?t=155000

https://tentenths.com/forum/showthread.php?t=155006

Last edited by Born Racer; 24 Oct 2020 at 06:48.
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Old 23 Oct 2020, 08:00 (Ref:4012102)   #2
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Easy circuit to learn, extremely difficult to master it.
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Old 23 Oct 2020, 08:50 (Ref:4012115)   #3
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Easy circuit to learn, extremely difficult to master it.
I watched the 'Track Guide' on the Autosport website this morning (I think I also saw You Tube footage of Mike going around there in his Escort that someone posted in his Tribute thread). It does look interesting with varied corners and lots of elevation change which is nice. I'm looking forward to seeing how Formula One copes with it all, maybe some of the younger drivers will have driven the circuit more recently which may upset the order of things a little?
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Old 23 Oct 2020, 09:15 (Ref:4012123)   #4
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maybe some of the younger drivers will have driven the circuit more recently which may upset the order of things a little?
I am not sure that many of the series the young guys come from actually raced on it.

It is used in ACO racing: ELMS/ Le Mans Cup etc... and GTOpen / Formula Open
I don't think series like F3 or GP3 went there. Maybe for a test session, but not for a race I think.

World Series by Renault used to race there, so probably Ricciardo raced there before
EDIT: he did, in 2009.

EDIT2: And there were some FIA F3 tests in 2015. so people like Stroll, Leclerc, Russell, Giovinazzi and Albon have at least tested there.

Last edited by gert; 23 Oct 2020 at 09:16. Reason: added info
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Old 23 Oct 2020, 09:19 (Ref:4012124)   #5
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I am not sure that many of the series the young guys come from actually raced on it.

It is used in ACO racing: ELMS/ Le Mans Cup etc... and GTOpen / Formula Open
I don't think series like F3 or GP3 went there. Maybe for a test session, but not for a race I think.

World Series by Renault used to race there, so probably Ricciardo raced there before
EDIT: he did, in 2009.

EDIT2: And there were some FIA F3 tests in 2015. so people like Stroll, Leclerc, Russell, Giovinazzi and Albon have at least tested there.
OK, thanks gert, maybe not the shake-up I was hoping for, never mind!
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Old 23 Oct 2020, 09:34 (Ref:4012130)   #6
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peebee2 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridpeebee2 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Proper F3 raced there, as did GP2 - as well as FR3.5, FR2.0 and EuroFormula. And A1GP.

GP3 tested there I think, and F1 of course.

Maybe some of those who spent millions on private F1 testing on the quiet like Norris and Latifi tested there too.

Great track apart from the horrendous bumps around where the main stand has been sinking into its foundations.

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Old 23 Oct 2020, 09:46 (Ref:4012138)   #7
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Proper F3 raced there, as did GP2 - as well as FR3.5, FR2.0 and EuroFormula.
GP2 did, but only once I think? In 2009.
Add Perez and Hulkenberg to the list of drivers who have previously raced there
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Old 23 Oct 2020, 10:01 (Ref:4012142)   #8
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Proper F3 raced there, as did GP2 - as well as FR3.5, FR2.0 and EuroFormula.

GP3 tested there I think, and F1 of course.

Great track apart from the horrendous bumps around where the main stand has been sinking into its foundations.
I think it has been re surfaced so the bumps may no longer be there.
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Old 23 Oct 2020, 10:04 (Ref:4012145)   #9
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I think it has been re surfaced so the bumps may no longer be there.
Let’s hope so as it was virtually unusable at its worst. And let’s hope they did a better job than previous times!

I imagine it was a pre-requisite to have the race anyway as it was so shocking and damaged both drivers and cars.
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Old 23 Oct 2020, 10:08 (Ref:4012146)   #10
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I confess that driving historcs with little or no downforce, the bumps weren't a problem.
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Old 23 Oct 2020, 10:46 (Ref:4012152)   #11
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tux should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridtux should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridtux should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
New track and very little running. We need to scrap/limit Sim time
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Old 23 Oct 2020, 11:36 (Ref:4012175)   #12
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Great to be back at Portugal, Estoril always produced great action, let’s hope Algarve does the same. Although drivers are saying track limits could be a problem here. Again
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Old 23 Oct 2020, 11:49 (Ref:4012187)   #13
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Track limits are only a problem if you exceed them.
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Old 23 Oct 2020, 11:51 (Ref:4012188)   #14
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Great to be back at Portugal, Estoril always produced great action, let’s hope Algarve does the same. Although drivers are saying track limits could be a problem here. Again
Why should track limits be a problem? Surely it's up to 'the drivers' to go around the corners at a slow enough speed to keep control of their cars so that they can keep within the boundaries of the track? (Just like they would if there was a brick wall, armco barrier or 200ft drop instead of a painted line outside of the kerbs...)
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Old 23 Oct 2020, 11:54 (Ref:4012189)   #15
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Track limits are only a problem if you exceed them.
Well put!

Lot of spinners and overshooting today, to be expected when getting to 'grip' with a new circuit.

I a bit surprised by the relatively low lap time. Reckon they will be doing 1:15 in qualy!!
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