F1 2021 Round 3 – Portugal

The Algarve International Circuit is new to Formula 1, having first hosted an F1 race in 2020. Constructed in 2008, the venue has hosted a number of events across a range of motorsport, and after both the real races here and my experience on the game, I’d be happy to see it stick around, though its place on the F1 calendar is due to the covid pandemic, so it’s long-term future is uncertain.

Though the track is new it feels like a classic European circuit. In a superficial sense it feels a little like Imola, for there are a number of elevation changes throughout the lap, but in most respects this is a track geared more towards cornering (often quite quickly). The pit straight is long and you’ll approach turn 1 at high speed, but you won’t brake as hard as you think, and turn 2 is quick, though turn 3 is a bit of a handful.

Similar sequences exist throughout the track. Turn 7 is quite fast, as is turn 10. Turns 8 and 11 are quite tight. Turn 14 is approached whilst you accelerate, and you want to keep your foot down through the lengthy turn 15 too.

I qualified quite well (5th, I think) but a slow car at this stage is a hindrance. I was however running quite comfortably in 8th until my final stop, when the handling of the car inexplicably nosedived. Suddenly the car just would not turn in enough, and I ended up crashing out (kind of on purpose in disgust) due to what I consider to be the game glitching. After three races I had one 11th place, one 9th place, and now a DNF. Hardly a great start.

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