24 years later, Formula 1 returns to Portugal

After Boavista, Monsanto and Estoril, Portimão joins the list of locations that can proudly boast having hosted a Formula 1 Grand Prix in Portugal!

Carrying the official title of “Formula 1 Heineken Portuguese Grand Prix”, the event is between October 23rd and 25th and has been hotly anticipated in the country. The last race held in Portugal, in the seemingly distant year of 1996, was won by renowned Canadian racer Jacques Villeneuve.

The Portuguese GP had a total of 16 editions, with the first being held at the Boavista Urban Circuit, in August 1958, which — as legend goes — was attended by over 100 thousand spectators. The second edition was in Lisbon, at the Monsanto Forest Park circuit.

Both early editions of the race in Portugal were won by British ace Stirling Moss, who is widely considered one of the best drivers to never become World Champion! In 1960 the race returned to Boavista and was the site for the victory of Australian Jack Brabham.

Following that season, Formula 1 was absent from the country for precisely 24 years (coincidentally, the same number as now). Its return takes place at the Estoril Autodrome in dramatic fashion, in the last race of the season! Frenchman Alain Prost begins a legacy as one of the most successful drivers in the Portuguese F1 Grand Prix (tied with Nigel Mansell, at 3 wins). But his crowning moment is utterly bittersweet, as teammate Niki Lauda claws to 2nd place in the race, thus winning the championship by a mere half a point!

The Portugal GP remained on the race calendar for another 12 uninterrupted seasons, with its final edition to date taking place in 1996. Historic names in the sport graced this stage over the course of those years, including the legendary Michael Schumacher, a 7-time World champion!

Estoril’s race track will also forever be remembered by the 1985 F1 event. Here — on a very rainy April day — was the site of a young Ayrton Senna’s first GP win, thereby taking his first step into the realm of Formula 1 royalty.

F1 history will continue to be written in Portuguese soil, this time in Portimão!

VidaMar Algarve has a special offer set up for those who wish to attend the racing event and enjoy a tranquil seaside getaway as well! See it here!


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Just as the name implies, these resorts were meticulously thought out to be much more than just a beach holiday destination! The idea is based on a combination of “Life” (Vida) and “Sea” (Mar), which is paired with a complete offer of services, which range from modern Spas to high-quality restaurant options!