Portimao wants Russia’s spot on the 2022 calendar

Michelle Foster
Portimao race start. Portugal May 2021

Race start of the race, depart, during the Formula 1 Heineken Grande Premio de Portugal 2021 from April 30 to May 2, 2021 on the Algarve International Circuit, in Portimao, Portugal. Portugal May 2021

Portimao’s circuit boss is in talks with Formula 1 about the Portuguese venue filling Russia’s empty spot on the 2022 calendar.

Formula 1 announced last week that under current circumstances it was “impossible” for Russia to host a grand prix, the country having invaded Ukraine.

That statement didn’t include the word ‘cancelled’ prompting Russian GP promoters to say that the race had only been “suspended”.

“The agreement between the official Russian Grand Prix promoter Ano ‘Rosgonki’ and Formula 1 is suspended due to force majeure events,” Rosgonki said in a statement.

“The purchased tickets are not cancelled – there is no need to get refunds for them now because it is still possible the round will take place and will be held as previously scheduled.”

The matter was clarified on Tuesday with the FIA confirming “upon proposal of the F1 Commercial Rights Holder, cancellation of the 2022 Russian F1 Grand Prix for reason of Force Majeure”.

There is already a list of circuits wanting that vacant spot with Portimao in the mix.

The Algarve International circuit was used in 2020 and again in 2021 as Formula 1 dealt with the pandemic, but it wasn’t included on this year’s calendar.

Portimao’s circuit boss Paulo Pinheiro hopes that could yet change.

“We are in talks with the F1 organisation to host the substitution event,” Pinheiro told Correio da Manha Jornal.

But, he added, “everything depends on logistical issues”.

Those logistical issues could see the Sepang circuit return to the Formula 1 calendar for the first time since 2017.

The Malaysian Grand Prix lost its place due to rising hosting fees and declining ticket sales with the venue struggling to attract a significant crowd.

Looking to fill the date of 25 September with F1 off to Singapore a week later, Sepang and also the Shanghai circuit are being touted as two possible replacements.

Shanghai was not included on the 2022 calendar due to Chinese travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. But with the weekend that needs to be filled only in late September, it could yet replace Russia.

The Istanbul Park in Turkey is also reportedly on the short list.

 

F1 chief Stefano Domenicali says there the sport has no shortage of venues lining up to replace Sochi.

“Talking specifically about the situation this year, because of the Russian situation, I just can confirm to you we have already proven in the last couple of years to be very flexible and not to have any problem in finding possible solutions for that,” said Domenicali, quoted by F1i.com.

“So I can just confirm, that could be an option for this year with no problem at all.”

 

PlanetF1 Verdict

 

Portimao want Russia’s Grand Prix spot

Portimao circuit bosses are in talks to replace the Russian GP.