F1 officially communicated its decision to cancel the Chinese Grand Prix for the fourth year in a row last week.

If F1 wants to retain its planned record-breaking 24-round season, then the sport already has the ideal replacement waiting in the wings. 

The 4.6km, 15-turn Algarve International Circuit, located in Portimao in the Algarve region of southern Portugal, holds the required FIA Grade 1 licence and has recent experience of hosting F1. 

When the 2020 season was decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Portimao stepped in to stage a debut event as part of a rejigged calendar as F1 moved to a predominantly European-based schedule. 

Following a hugely successful inaugural race, the revived Portuguese Grand Prix returned to fill the vacant slot as the third round of the F1 2021 season. 

Portimao - which has been likened to a rollercoaster due to its fast and undulating layout - proved to be an instant hit with drivers and fans alike.

China is due to take place on 16 April, just two weeks earlier than the time of year the Algarve last hosted F1. 

Drafting in Portimao would also cause no logistical headaches, given there is a four-week gap between the third round in Australia and race five in Baku. 

With the capability to hold 100,000 spectators, Portimao has everything required to be a popular event in a great destination. 

Who won the previous races in Portimao? 

Lewis Hamilton took a historic victory on F1’s first-ever visit to Portimao in 2020 to claim his 92nd career win and break Michael Schumacher’s all-time win record. 

The seven-time world champion was again victorious on F1’s return to Portimao in 2021 after he fought back to pass then Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas and title rival Max Verstappen for a brilliant win. 

That marked Hamilton’s 97th career victory and gave him an eight-point championship lead over Verstappen, who would go on to clinch the title in the controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.