2021 Portuguese Grand Prix F1 Qualifying Schedule: Can Verstappen Strike Back?

Published 04/29/2021, 7:59 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal – October 25, 2020 Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Rudy Carezzevoli


This weekend will be a truly action-packed one, as F1 visits Portimao for the Portuguese Grand Prix. Admittedly, many are excited to witness the new sprint race format that will debut this year. However, this new format will not be in effect just yet, and F1 will stick to the tried and tested three-session format.

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The qualifying sessions kicks off at 3:00PM local time and 7:30PM IST. As always, there is an 18 minute Q1 session session, and the slowest six cars will be eliminated. Q2 sees a 15 minute session and another six cars eliminated at the end of the time period. Finally, Q3 is a 12 minute session that decides the final 10 grid positions, including pole.

Who will win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix?

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Admittedly, Lewis Hamilton is one of the favorites to win, as he won the race last year. Meanwhile, Valtteri Bottas made it a Mercedes 1-2, with Max Verstappen in 3rd place. However, many suspect that this year’s battle will be between Hamilton and Verstappen and either of those two will win.

Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal -Haas’ Romain Grosjean and Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Jorge Guerrero

Obviously, one can never say never in Formula One, as things can change at the drop of a hat. It is worth mentioning that the Portuguese Grand Prix returned to the F1 calendar after 25 years. However, 2020 was the first time the F1 circus ever visited the Algarve Circuit. Otherwise, the Estoril Circuit near Lisbon was the most-used venue.

To be precise, Estoril made its F1 debut back in 1984 and was a regular fixture on the calendar until 1996. It dropped off the F1 map after the track authorities failed to complete any upgrades in a timely manner. On an interesting note, rumours of the Grand Prix returning to Portugal, surfaced as early as 2009. That was when the Algarve Circuit was noted as being capable of hosting an F1 race. Finally, everything came to fruition in 2020 and F1 is back in the Iberian Peninsula.

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Dhruv George

12157 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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