Portugal expresses interest in 20th race
25 January 2013 – Bernie Ecclestone, head of Formula One Management (FOM), says Portugal has joined France by showing interest in the 20th slot on the 2013 calendar. The venue for the proposed race on 21 July, which would substitute for the delayed Grand Prix of America in New Jersey, is yet to be confirmed with the season just two months away.
The extra Grand Prix weekend was penned in by the FIA last December, with Turkey quickly attemping to resurrect its former race. After talks fell through, Ecclestone hinted that the calendar would be reduced back to 19 races, but officials at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal are now said to be assessing the option of hosting a Formula 1 event, alongside continued interest from France.
"Frankly, I do not know," Ecclestone told Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten of the current situation. "There is still interest from France for the race, and now Portugal with the Algarve circuit. For the German Grand Prix, the venue is still open."
Formula 1 has previously visited the Algarve circuit, with test sessions being held at the end of 2008 and prior to the 2009 season. Although the venue could bring the 2013 calendar back up to 20 races, Ecclestone has confirmed that this will be the maximum number of events in future seasons, easing the teams' recent concerns.