Russell Proposes Crucial Change to Portimao F1 Track for “Better Racing”

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October 19, 2020 6:37 pm

There is a lot of anticipation for the race in Portugal on the 25th of October. This will be the first Portuguese Grand Prix in 24 years and the first-ever race to be held at the new Portimao circuit.

However, only 4 days ahead of the first practice session in Algarve, there have been concerns raised by a few F1 drivers regarding the track limits. Or rather the issue of exceeding track limits, especially during Turn 1.

For Turn 1, at the end of the long starting straight, F1 had two options to choose from.

They could either choose a layout that included a hairpin loop, an interesting right-left-right combo, or they could pick the straightforward and pacier right-hander. They went with the latter.

Also Read: Portimao Circuit Guide for the Portuguese Grand Prix

However, doing so means that drivers will have to be extremely cautious of breaching the track limit because of how scrutinizing the FIA stewards have been in that regard.

F1’s final choice was interesting considering what Williams F1’s George Russell had to say about his experience on the circuit during his F3 days. He said, “We may have some track limit issues, which I hope can be rectified before we even get there, at Turn One.

“I know that was an issue in F3. We had a race weekend in F3 in 2015. And on Thursday we had a test day, which was on the quick Turn One, which is what we’ll be doing for the F1 weekend.

“But everybody was just doing track limits. So they actually adopted doing sort of a hairpin loop, which was very nice. 

“I’m actually surprised we haven’t done that loop. For racing it would be better having a slower speed corner at the end of a long straight.”

Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – Williams’ George Russell during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

FIA race director aware of track limit problems at Portimao but assures manageability

Michael Masi, the FIA’s Race Director, is well aware of what to expect. He said, “Regarding track limits, Turn One won’t be the only location that we’ve got a possibility there. However, we’ve put some elements in place to try and manage those as best we can.”

With an interesting and entertaining track layout set for the race, early indications suggest that this will be a fun race to watch. And we expect no less.

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