Portugal has been primed as a likely replacement venue for the truncated 2020 Formula 1 world championship calendar as the sport continues to run into difficulties trying to piece together a viable schedule.
Portuguese sources are confirming that plans are in place to see the sport stage a doubleheader round at the Portimao Circuit this year.
The developments come following Imola’s announcement that the Italian circuit would not shy away from an F1 return and amid the decisions from Japan, Singapore and Azerbaijan to cancel their respective GPs for 2020.
An initial eight-race European calendar kicking off in Austria next month has been agreed to by all teams but following the Monza’s race in September there has been no confirmation how or what the rest of a revised calendar may look like.
Portimao was opened in 2008 and has hosted F2 (formerly GP2) and F3 races in the past. Formula 1 meanwhile has only completed a handful of pre-season test sessions prior to the 2009 season.
The Circuit was awarded a Grade 1 licence earlier this year meaning it can host a Formula 1 race.
Both the Russian and Bahrain Grands Prix have reportedly offered to hold two races this year to fill the calendar but it is also likely the sport will have to turn to new venues to stretch the season out.
F1’s motorsport director Ross Brawn has already announced his intentions to see a “15-18 race calendar” run for 2020.
A further F1 statement released on Friday acknowledged there had been “significant progress with existing and new promoters” and that the series was “particularly encouraged by the interest shown by the new venues”.
Formula 1 last competed in Portugal back in 1996 at the popular Estoril circuit.