The Circuito do Estoril or Autódromo do Estoril (Estoril Circuit), officially known as Autódromo Fernanda Pires da Silva, is a motorsport race track on the Portuguese Riviera, outside of Lisbon, owned by state-run holding management company Parpública. Its length is 4.182 km (2.599 mi). It was the home of the Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix from 1984 to 1996. The capacity of the motorsport stadium is 45,000.[1] The circuit has an FIA Grade 1 license.[2]


History

Its first years saw many national races, as well as an occasional Formula 2 race. However, the course soon fell into disrepair due to the owning company having been taken over by the state between 1975 and 1978, and a significant redevelopment effort was needed before international motorsport returned in 1984.

Estoril became a popular event on the F1 calendar, the setting for many well-known moments including Niki Lauda winning the 1984 championship, his third and final, from McLaren teammate Alain Prost by just half a point by finishing second to Prost at the 1984 Portuguese Grand Prix; three-time world champion Ayrton Senna's first F1 win in 1985; Nigel Mansell's notorious black flag incident and subsequent collision with Senna in 1989; Riccardo Patrese being launched airborne in a near-backward flip after colliding with Gerhard Berger on the main straight in 1992; and Jacques Villeneuve overtaking Michael Schumacher around the outside of the final turn in 1996.

Estoril was dropped from the F1 calendar for the 1997 season, though it continued to play host to top-level single-seater, sports car and touring car events, including the FIA GT Championship, the DTM and the World Series by Renault.[3] A new redesign of the parabolica turn which saw its length reduced to 4.182 km (2.599 mi) was implemented in 2000 in order to obtain FIM homologation.

Start of the second race of SuperLeague in Autódromo do Estoril

On 3 September 2000, the Autódromo do Estoril held its first Portuguese motorcycle Grand Prix, an event held annually. On 23 October 2005, the circuit hosted the third round of the first ever A1 Grand Prix racing season, with both races in the event being won by the French team.

In the 1980s, the Rally de Portugal had a special stage at the circuit.[4][5]

The track hosted Superleague Formula series events in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

In 2020, due to rescheduling of major international sport series due to COVID-19 pandemic, Estoril hosted the final race of 2020 Superbike World Championship (after hosting the series in 1988 and 1993) and the final race of 2019–20 FIM Endurance World Championship (after hosting the series in 1987 and 2000).

Track

The Estoril circuit was built in 1972 on a rocky plateau near the village of Alcabideche, 9 km (5.6 mi) from the city of Estoril, the beach resort lending its name to the circuit. The course has two hairpin turns, noticeable elevation changes, and a long (986 metre) start/finish straight.[3] Its original perimeter was 4.350 km (2.703 mi), and the maximum gradient is nearly 7%.[6]

Throughout the years, Estoril has had numerous problems with safety, failing safety inspections on more than one occasion. After the death of Ayrton Senna at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, a chicane was added which increased the circuit length to 4.360 km (2.709 mi). Estoril sometimes has high crosswinds, which remind many of its Spanish counterpart, the Circuit de Catalunya, which has a similar layout. Many teams were fond of using Estoril for winter testing.

Major event winners

Motorcycling - Portuguese Grand Prix

Year Track Moto3 Moto2 MotoGP Report
Rider Manufacturer Rider Manufacturer Rider Manufacturer
2012 Estoril Germany Sandro Cortese KTM Spain Marc Márquez Suter Australia Casey Stoner Honda Report
Year Track 125 cc Moto2 MotoGP Report
Rider Manufacturer Rider Manufacturer Rider Manufacturer
2011 Estoril Spain Nicolás Terol Aprilia Germany Stefan Bradl Kalex Spain Dani Pedrosa Honda Report
2010 Estoril Spain Marc Márquez Derbi Germany Stefan Bradl Suter Spain Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Report
Year Track 125 cc 250 cc MotoGP Report
Rider Manufacturer Rider Manufacturer Rider Manufacturer
2009 Estoril Spain Pol Espargaró Derbi Italy Marco Simoncelli Gilera Spain Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Report
2008 Estoril Italy Simone Corsi Aprilia Spain Álvaro Bautista Aprilia Spain Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Report
2007 Estoril Spain Héctor Faubel Aprilia Spain Álvaro Bautista Aprilia Italy Valentino Rossi Yamaha Report
2006 Estoril Spain Álvaro Bautista Aprilia Italy Andrea Dovizioso Honda Spain Toni Elías Honda Report
2005 Estoril Finland Mika Kallio KTM Australia Casey Stoner Aprilia Brazil Alex Barros Honda Report
2004 Estoril Spain Héctor Barberá Aprilia Spain Toni Elías Honda Italy Valentino Rossi Yamaha Report
2003 Estoril Spain Pablo Nieto Aprilia Spain Toni Elías Aprilia Italy Valentino Rossi Honda Report
2002 Estoril France Arnaud Vincent Aprilia Spain Fonsi Nieto Aprilia Italy Valentino Rossi Honda Report
Year Track 125 cc 250 cc 500 cc Report
Rider Manufacturer Rider Manufacturer Rider Manufacturer
2001 Estoril San Marino Manuel Poggiali Gilera Japan Daijiro Kato Honda Italy Valentino Rossi Honda Report
2000 Estoril Spain Emilio Alzamora Honda Japan Daijiro Kato Honda Australia Garry McCoy Yamaha Report

References

  1. ^ "StadiumZone". StadiumZone.
  2. ^ "LIST OF FIA LICENSED CIRCUITS" (PDF). FIA. 6 February 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  3. ^ a b "The New Tracks". race-game.org. 2006. Retrieved 16 November 2009.
  4. ^ "Estoril". RacingCircuits.info.
  5. ^ Seara.com. "History - Circuito Estoril - Portugal". www.circuito-estoril.pt.
  6. ^ Seara.com. "TRACK DATA - Circuito Estoril - Portugal". www.circuito-estoril.pt.

External links

Coordinates: 38°45′3″N 9°23′39″W / 38.75083°N 9.39417°W / 38.75083; -9.39417