The 2020 Formula One season will continue next weekend in Portugal, with the Algarve track in Portimao included in the redesign of the race calendar. F1 will return to Portugal after two and a half decades, and the racing circus will compete on the concrete track, which was built just 12 years ago, for the first time, so this year’s race is clearly a “big bang”.
Since the announcement of the Portuguese Grand Prix 2020, the organizers have calculated that the competition will be held with on-site spectators like Mugello, Sochi and the Nürburgring, but the plan seems to go up in smoke due to the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic.
Graca Freitas, president of the Portuguese health authority (Direcao-Geral da Saude), spoke at a press conference on Friday about considering banning spectators from sporting events, or better limiting spectators, because of deteriorating numbers.
A total of 95,902 coronavirus infections were identified in the southern European country of roughly the same size and population as Hungary, 2149 people died of the disease so far, but 2608 new cases were registered yesterday, representing a new daily record.
Formula 1 itself has largely survived the epidemic thanks to its strict precautions and segregation regulations, with 1506 tests in the sport, including the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, from last Friday to Thursday, according to the latest weekly report from the International Automobile Federation (FIA). eight of which were positive.
The FIA does not identify the infected more accurately to the public, but it probably included (at least) two team members who tested positive for Mercedes last weekend and renault team members identified to RandoFans before Fernando Alonso’s test in Barcelona on Tuesday.