Twice in this season the formula 1 rested on previously (relatively) unknown terrain. Result: Two spectacular races in Mugello and on the Nurburgring ring. Also in the third newcomer in the calendar, the course on the Algarve coast in Portimao, it should go round. RTL expert Timo Glock expects a “rough mountain and valley ride”.
The Autodrome Internacional do Algarve allows 32-track layouts. The formula 1 runs on a 4684-kilometer long variant with 16-curves.
“A fairly liquid route variant with many fast curves for a formula-1-car”, explains Glock. The height difference is certainly unusual. The mountain and valley journeys there are relatively rough.”
The figures support bells”awesome”assessment of the track profile. The climb is up to 6,2 percent, the maximum gradient is even twelve percent.
“I think it will be quite impressive to see a Formula One car in Portimao,” Tiago Monteiro is sure. The Portuguese, 2005/06 in the royal class at the start, knows the route well in his homeland and expects an exciting weekend.
“High speed curves, blind curves, really big hills”
“We have high speed curves, blind curves, really big hills and departures. Physically, this will be a great challenge for drivers. Even the engineers don’t know the route. It will be interesting to see how everyone deals with it and adapts,”said the 44-year-old.
Formula 1 hosted 2009 last time as part of testing trips in Portimao, Since then, only Mercedes was in April 2017 for a W06 test with George Russell and Nicholas Latifi on the track.
Portimao is indeed a demanding roller coaster ride. The course has not only a long finish line (969 meters), but also a counterline that leads directly into a hairpin. In the middle sector, several unique curves combined with height changes offer a challenge, with the fast double right “Portimao” as a highlight. The round ends with the high speed right curve “Galp”. For drivers and fans, a welcome entry in the calendar.
Already on the finish line, it not only goes straight ahead, but also goes downhill before the first brake point. After two quick right turns and a narrow hairpin, the line goes straight back up over a dome. Drivers turn left onto the opposite line.
It keeps going up and down. Shortly before the second hairpin (curve 6) the course drops noticeably. Here it will certainly not be easy for the pilots to find the right brake point. A few quick right turns will follow. For the riders it goes uphill in several waves. Shortly before curve 11, the highest part of the line is located.
In the last sector, a slow left and a medium-fast right curve are still waiting for the riders in a high-speed arc to race to the finish straight. Long before the boxing entrance is visible, the pilots are fully on the gas. Here, too, some waves are embedded in the profile.
Good odds of overtaking and a blind corner
“There are many ground waves in it,” says “RTL” expert Glock. I’m curious to see how Formula One cars can cope with this.”
Monteiro, at the scandal GP of the USA 2005 on the podium, sees in Portimao”some special points”that make the line”very interesting”. There are some good overtaking possibilities.” After the long straight, the cars will arrive there very quickly. You will have to brake very hard, I think you can overtake,”explains the Portuguese.”And then there is curve 4, again a descent, very hard braking and a very narrow hairpin, another overtaking point.” before the “most exciting part of the route” comes with a “fast downhill left turn”, says Monteiro. Then up again, a quick right turn, ever narrower, narrower, and then completely blind. Here you will see many mistakes, perhaps also another possibility of overtaking.”
Unknown patch for Pirelli and the teams
Portimao will be a hot patch not only for the drivers, but also for the tyres.”Portimao is of all the new routes with the greatest difficulty”, Pirelli sports director Mario Isola.
The course strains the tires to one because of the layout very strongly. On the other hand, the rollers were required due to the raw asphalt. Pirelli therefore brings his three hardest rubber mixtures to the Algarve (C1, C2 and C3).
In August, the track was also re-asphalted, presenting the teams with another challenge.” Through the new asphalt we will achieve a much higher grip level, but at the same time much less wear,”explains Isola.
This results in significantly more heat in the tread of the tyre. Teams need to keep an eye on that during the weekend. But we won’t find out until we get there.”
Editorial note: Jeremy Hart spoke to Tiago Monteiro. Monteiro currently drives for Honda in the touring car series and is part of the Japanese long-distance team.