Portugal’s spectacular Autódromo Internacional do Algarve circuit in Portimão looks set to join the Formula 1 pre-season testing roster for the 2011 season, AUTOSPORT hasPortimão circuit reported.

Designed by Ricardo Pina, the undulating Portuguese circuit has proved a hit with drivers in a host of categories, and has played host to some excellent races in series such as the SuperLeague Formula, A1 Grand Prix, Le Mans Series and the World Touring Car Championship.

In 2009, then-FIA President Max Mosley suggested that the circuit would play an excellent venue for the return of the Portuguese Grand Prix, if a commercial agreement with Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Management group could be achieved. As yet, there is no word on the likelihood of this eventuating…

The F1 teams recently agreed to four official pre-season test sessions next year between February and March, with Bahrain also being added to the roster for next season.

This year’s pre-season tests occurred exclusively in Spain, with Jerez, Valencia’s Ricardo Tomo circuit and Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya sharing hosting duties.

The next season’s pre-season roster will see Barcelona, Jerez, Bahrain and Portimão host the prospective F1 teams as they bed in their 2011 championship contenders.

While the order of the venues is still to be finalised, Bahrain’s Sakhir circuit will assume the final slot on the roster between March 3-6, the weekend before its 2011 season-opening race.

For more information on the circuit, visit our advertising partner, Track Reviewers.

[Original image via Race Corporation]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.