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Portugal willing to be non-championship F1 host

A Portuguese circuit has put up its hand as a potential venue for a non-championship F1 race.

Recently, new F1 sporting boss Ross Brawn said he would like a non-championship race to be the scene of experimental tweaks to the race format.

The Portuguese specialist newspaper Auto Sport claims Brawn’s plan would be for a pre-season race in February, close to the majority of the teams’ European headquarters.

Paulo Pinheiro, boss of the Algarve circuit in Portugal, thinks the track in Portimao fits the bill.

“A F1 race is really good and interesting for us and for tourism,” he said, “as the economic impact and the media exposure is huge, especially in a low tourism season as February.”

Pinheiro revealed that the Algarve track is pressing ahead with F1 homologation, in the wake of the changes needed to suit the much faster new cars.

“We believe that the process will be finalised in the next few days,” he said.

The project might even have state backing, with the Portimao mayor saying Portugal should host F1 again and Portuguese prime minister Antonio Costa agreeing: “The idea that you proposed is extremely appealing and exciting.”

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