On December 2, 2022 it was announced that the Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix will not take place. In mid-December 2022, the media reported that Portugal and the Autódromo do Algarve were at the forefront to replace the Chinese race. On January 17, 2023, the organisers of the season confirm that there will be no China race and instead state that the season will have 23 instead of 24 races.
Ni Amorim, president of the Portuguese Automobile and Karting Federation (FPAK), explained to PÚBLICO that in this outcome is due to the will of the teams involved in the sport.
“There was a lot of opposition. The constructors didn't want 24 races in the World Championship, so [the outcome] meets their wishes”, he explains. The FPAK leader confided that “there was still a possibility three days ago” that the Portimão track would be chosen as an alternative to the Chinese circuit, and that in December “everything was prepared and coordinated” to welcome back F1 to Portugal.
Ni Amorim stated that “this decision harms Portugal, because F1 has grown immensely in the media”. “It's like it's never been. At the last GP there were 400 thousand people, a record. In Portugal we had two races in eight months, in 2020 and 2021, and Portugal was talked about all over the world”.
Asked whether something is being prepared for 2024 and 2025, the president of the FPAK says that “it is still too early”, but recognises that the AIA will not give up hosting F1. “From what I know of the dynamism of the AIA, it is natural that the race should return. And it will have natural and unconditional support from the federation.”
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