Algarve in the running for 2013 F1

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has this past week told British motorsport magazine Autosport that the 2013 racing calendar could still include 20 races, with France and Portugal showing interest to host the event.

Algarve Car Hire - F1 race 2013The calendar was modified by the FIA at the end of last year to make room for a European race on July 21.
Initially, the Red Bull Ring in Austria and Istanbul in Turkey were linked to the slot, said, “but their chances seem to have evaporated and Ecclestone said in December that he expected the calendar to include just 19 events.”

But new developments have pointed to the Algarve being a strong contender for a summer race.
“To be honest, I don’t know,” Ecclestone responded when questioned about the vacant 21 July race.
“There is interest still in France, and now also in Portugal.
They want to do it at the new Algarve track”, the F1 chief said.

However, Ecclestone cautioned that Formula 1 was seemingly content with 19 races.
“If someone wants to have the 20th race, it will happen, if the track is there and okay. We can help [with] organising.
However, if the teams do not seem to be in favour of this race. I doubt it will happen”, Ecclestone told Autosport.

The Portimão circuit held two F1 tests in 2008 and 2009 and has hosted GP2, World Series by Renault and FIA GTs in the past.

Most fans and drivers have praised the circuit designs.
Speaking after testing in Portimão in 2009, driver Kamui Kobayashi said: “In the wet when you’re going downhill you have wheelspin - really. Every lap I nearly cried.”

In a developing news story, and one which could count in the Algarve’s favour, is that the German Grand Prix is seemingly hanging by a thread after Bernie Ecclestone told German media he had cancelled negotiations with the Nurburgring over the 2013 race.

In comments to German publication Spiegel, Ecclestone said: “After due consideration of their proposal we believe it is regrettably not financially acceptable, so we have terminated our negotiations.”
If the German GP doesn’t take place and if the Algarve, Turkey or Austria fail to convince Mr. Ecclestone, the Hungarian GP will be the only race between June 30 (British GP) and August 25 (Belgian GP).

In comments to The Portugal News this week, Paulo Pinheiro, the circuit’s administrator, declined to comment on these latest reports.
This news has also been met with a certain amount of incredulity, especially after Bernie Ecclestone took legal action last May against the Portimão circuit for outstanding debts amounting to an estimated €3.2 million.


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