The Algarve circuit has said that ticket sales for the Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix have gone “crazy”, with 45,000 fans expected to attend each day of the event.
Miguel Praia, the circuit’s event and commercial director, said that there had been huge interest ever since it became clear the GP would be open to spectators.
Motorsport Tickets: F1 Portuguese GP tickets
“In the first week we went online with our ticket sales, it was crazy,” he told Autosport and XS2Event. “Formula 1 is so popular in Portugal and the fans are very eager to attend the event as F1 returns to our country.
“At the moment we have sold over 30,000 seats already and 95% of our corporate boxes are sold out. Now the summer holidays have ended, we expect sales to pick up again with a final boost.”
The Algarve circuit has capacity for 90,000 grandstand seats, but following agreement with the government only half of these will be occupied for the F1 race weekend.
All spectators will be temperature tested on their way into the circuit and will have to wear masks, and they must stick to their designated seat.
Praia is well aware that the event is a one-off for now, which makes it important the track pulls off a good job.
“We know this is a one-time opportunity at the moment, however we will do our best to make this a very special event for the teams, sponsors, the organisers and the fans to enjoy our facilities and to enjoy the Algarve,” he said.
Praia added that the circuit’s previous hopes of holding an F1 races had been scuppered simply because of the huge race fee asked from hosts.
“We have been in touch with Formula One Management before to host a Grand Prix, but to be honest the fee to welcome F1 was a showstopper for us,” he said.
“Corona has changed the world now though, and because of that both Formula 1 and Dorna Sports [MotoGP] were interested to visit the Algarve.”
The Portuguese GP is scheduled for the 23-25 October as the first leg of a double-header with Imola (31 October-1 November) which hosts its first F1 grand prix since 2006.