British racing driver Briton Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) has stated that he “would like the Algarve circuit to be part of the calendar” of the Formula 1 World Championship permanently.
In an interview broadcast by the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve (AIA) about the third race of the 2021 season of the World Championship, which takes place from 30 April to 2 May in the Algarve, the world champion recalled the victory he achieved when he last raced in Portugal which allowed him to surpass the record of 91 victories he had previously shared with Michael Schumacher.
“Honestly, I think I can’t quite describe the meaning of the achievement, because it doesn’t seem like reality. It’s completely surreal: one moment you’re at home watching Michael win all the championships, and the next you’re on the track, racing with him. Suddenly you are replacing it and then you are equalling your records”, said the seven times world champion.
Hamilton also admitted that “it was great to be in Portugal” and that “the race was spectacular”.
“I was excited to see the Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril and it was great to be back in Portugal to compete. It was also great to see a new group of fans that we haven’t seen for a long time,” said Hamilton.
The Mercedes driver arrives in Portugal at the top of the championship, but only one point ahead of Max Verstappen (Red Bull), with 44 points against the 43 of the Dutch driver.
Hamilton is expecting a tight race in the Algarve: “This time we already know the circuit and we know the car a little better, but, since we are going to Portugal at the beginning of the year, I don’t know if we will find a cool climate like last year or if it will be hotter. I suppose Red Bull will be very strong in Portimão, so it will certainly be a good challenge and a good race. “
Lewis Hamilton also revealed that the secret to the victory achieved in 2020, the year in which the Algarve circuit hosted a Formula 1 race for the first time, due to changes in the calendar caused by the Covid-19, was to have managed to remain calm throughout the race.
“The key to the performance in Portugal was to remain calm and thoughtful and not make mistakes. It was not giving up and finding my pace. Start by taking it easy and then focusing on giving it my all,” he said.
The British driver added that he considers the track in the Algarve to now be one of his favourites.
“It’s a fantastic track to drive on. There are areas where we can’t see exits, uphill and downhill, and at certain times we only see the sky. It’s an incredible combination of curves, with the added bonus of being able to follow and overtake other cars. The Austin circuit is one of my favourites, but Portugal has now joined the top “, he revealed.
The Portuguese Grand Prix will be taking place in Portimão from 30 April until 2 May, without spectators due to Covid-19 regulations.
High praise from Hamilton
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