“Racing has always been a big part of my life. It’s my passion. All the work I put in is to become the best. I am a competitor and will not rest till I get what I am after.”
The Autodromo Internacional do Algarve – known more colloquially as Portimao, after the port city it sits half an hour outside of – was opened in the autumn of 2008, with construction of the permanent facility completed in just seven months, and at a cost of €195 million.
Rather like Austin’s Circuit of The Americas, Portimao is a modern venue with elevation change baked into its layout. The Ricardo Pena-designed 4.6-km lap sends drivers swooping up hill and down dale, before culminating in a plunge down to the final right-hander at Galp leading back onto the pit straight.
While the track itself is a world-class facility, its location in the Algarve puts you squarely in one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations – such a nice area, in fact, that it’s where Ayrton Senna chose to set up his European home, just an hour down the coast from the track in Almancil.