Portuguese Grand Prix: Formula 1 secures confirmation Portugal can host race on 2 May

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Lewis Hamilton jumps off his car after winning the Portuguese Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton gained the all-time win record as F1 returned to Portugal last year for the first time since 1996

Formula 1 has secured confirmation that Portugal can host the third grand prix of the 2021 season on 2 May.

Portugal is on the UK's "red list" of countries that are a heightened risk in the pandemic because of the emergence of new coronavirus variants.

But F1 bosses have committed to the race at Portimao following talks with race organisers.

F1 personnel attending the race will not return to the UK within the 10-day restriction period from such countries.

All will travel on to the Spanish Grand Prix, which follows a week later. After that, some will go straight to Monaco, where the race is scheduled for 21 May. Others will remain in Spain until they have gone beyond 10 days since leaving Portugal and then return to the UK.

All F1 personnel are subject to regular testing as part of strict Covid protocols aimed at controlling the virus.

Teams will be informed of F1's decision at Thursday's meeting of the F1 Commission, where team bosses discuss rules issues with commercial rights holder Liberty Media and governing body the FIA.

One of the topics on the agenda is the trialling of Saturday 'sprint' races at three grands prix this season.

The decision on Portugal means the F1 season will start as planned in Bahrain on 26 March, before the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola in Italy on 18 April and then Portugal.

The sport had a series of contingency plans in case Portugal could not go ahead.

F1 president Stefano Domenicali said in a news conference last week that he was "totally confident" the sport could achieve a 23-race season in 2021. despite the pandemic.

However, he added it was "a challenge" and that sport would need to be "fluid and flexible".

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