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Formula One eye Portugal GP to replace Vietnam

Formula One said on Thursday it plans to hold a race in Portugal to complete this season’s schedule, after the May 2 window was left empty by the cancellation of the Hanoi race.

The race in the Vietnamese capital was scrapped for a second straight year due to the coronavirus pandemic and there are doubts it will ever take place.

Holding the event in Portugal was in doubt as the country is on Britain’s red list of Covid-19 destinations, with the majority of Formula One manufacturers based in England.

A 10-day quarantine is obligatory for all arrivals from Portugal to the UK.

“It is the intention of Formula One to fill the position with a race in Portugal on the dates already held in the calendar,” Formula One said.

“The final agreement is still subject to contract with the promoter.”

The Portimao circuit held its first Grand Prix last October.

The upcoming campaign is set to start in Bahrain on March 28 and already features a record 23 races, including the empty May slot.

F1 said “robust Covid-19 protocols” had allowed 17 races to take place in 2020 and in 2021, “while changing circumstances may require flexibility, the FIA and Formula One are working at all levels from government to local organisation to ensure that the calendar goes ahead as planned”.

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