Speaking to the Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten, Bernie Ecclestone said that a Grand Prix could be staged in the Algarve at the Algarve Motor Park near Portimão this year but he added that there were other places that could potential take the spot on the formula 1 calendar.
Bernie Ecclestone said: “The date for the Grand Prix is free and there is interest in staging the event in France and in Portugal at the new Algarve circuit.”
After the article from the Austrian newspaper was published online Bernie Ecclestone added that “there are too many races on the Formula 1 calendar being held in Europe” leaving fans in Portugal less optimistic about the prospect of a race coming to the region in the near future.
he added that the date of July 21 is still free on the formula 1 calendar but it is still not certain if a race will even be held on this date at all and currently the only date on the grand Prix calendar between July 7 and August 25 is that for the Grand Prix of Hungary to take place on July 28.
The Algarve motor Park has struggled to attract top international races since it first opened and has recently faced massive financial difficulties leading to the disbanding of the parks own racing team and the need for the park to seek extensions on bank loans and financial aid from the Portuguese government.
Previous years have seen the World Superbike Championships being held at the park but even this is in doubt this year and would leave the park struggling to keep up with the bills.
It has long been the desire of the park to host a Formula 1 race and in the past teams from the circuit have come to the Algarve for training sessions with many stating that it is a great circuit to race on.
The last time a Formula 1 race was held in Portugal was way back in 1996 when Canadian Jaques Villeneuve won the title at the Estoril track.
Bringing Formula 1 to the Algarve would be a huge boost to the local tourism industry but it looks like the chances of it coming to the region are still very slim if comments from Bernie Ecclestone are to be acknowledged.