Here are all the facts and statistics you need to know about the Portuguese Grand Prix ahead of the 2021 race at Algarve International Circuit!
Seventeen previous Portuguese Grands Prix have been held as a round of the World Championship. The first was in 1958 and the most recent was in 2020, when Algarve International Circuit became the fourth different circuit to have hosted the event. Other circuits to host the race are Circuito da Boavista, Monsanto and Estoril. The thirteen Portuguese Grands Prix between 1984 and 1996 were all held at Estoril.
When F1 returned to Portugal in 2020, it was 8,799 days since the last race in the country – but that’s not the longest gap between Portuguese Grands Prix. The longest gap was between the 1960 and 1984 events, which lasted 8,834 days – 35 days longer than the gap between the 1996 and 2020 races!
From the seventeen previous Portuguese Grands Prix, there have been twelve different winners. Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell share the record for most wins, with three apiece, while Stirling Moss is the only other driver to have taken multiple victories at the event.
Williams have taken more victories than any other team at the Portuguese Grand Prix, with six. The team have won five of the last seven races held in the country. Renault engines have supplied the most wins at the event, also with six. Renault powered all five of Williams’ most recent wins in Portugal.
British drivers have taken more wins in Portugal than drivers of any other nationality. British drivers have won on eight occasions, including three times in the last four Portuguese Grands Prix. France is the only other nation with multiple victories at the event.
Stirling Moss and Alain Prost are the only drivers to have taken back-to-back wins in Portugal. Moss did so in the first two World Championship Portuguese races, in 1958 and 1959, while Prost won the 1987 and 1988 events. Lewis Hamilton could become the third driver to do so in 2021.
Cooper, McLaren, Ferrari and Williams are the four teams who have taken consecutive wins at the Portuguese Grand Prix. In the last race at Estoril, in 1996, Williams became the first team to have won three Portuguese races in a row.
Cooper, McLaren, Williams and Mercedes are the only teams to have recorded 1-2 finishes at the Portuguese Grand Prix. Both Cooper and Williams have achieved the feat twice.
The largest win margin at this event came in 1959, when Stirling Moss won by over a lap. The smallest win margin was in 1994, when Damon Hill won by 0.603 seconds. Michael Schumacher’s victory in the previous season is the only other time that the Portuguese Grand Prix has been won by less than a second.
The pole to win conversion rate at the Portuguese Grand Prix is just above 50%, with nine of the seventeen races having been won from pole position.
Sixteen of the seventeen Portuguese Grands Prix in World Championship history have been won by a driver starting in the top three on the grid. The only race that wasn’t won by a driver starting in the top three was the 1993 Portuguese Grand Prix, which Michael Schumacher won from sixth on the grid.
ON THE PODIUM
A total of 29 drivers have finished in the top three in a Formula 1 race held in Portugal. Alain Prost holds the record for most podium finishes at the Portuguese Grand Prix having finished in the top three on seven occasions.
No team has taken more podium finishes at the Portuguese Grand Prix than Williams, who have had thirteen top three finishes in the country. All thirteen of their podium finishes were recorded at Estoril.
Britain is the nation with the most podium finishes at the Portuguese Grand Prix, with British drivers finishing in the top three on fifteen occasions.
The lowest grid position from which a podium finish has been recorded at the Portuguese Grand Prix is thirteenth. Thierry Boutsen finished third having started thirteenth in 1988.
There have been three races in Portugal where the three drivers at the front of the grid finished on the podium. It happened in 1958, 1990, 1995 and 2020. The 1958 Portuguese Grand Prix marked only the second time that the top three finished in the order in which they started in Formula 1’s history. The 1952 French Grand Prix is the only previous race where this had occurred.
1958 and 2020 are the only years in which the top three on the grid at the Portuguese Grand Prix finished in the order in which they started.
Eleven different drivers have taken pole position for the Portuguese Grand Prix. Ayrton Senna is the driver with the most poles in Portugal, having started from the front on three occasions.
Williams have taken more pole positions at the Portuguese Grand Prix than any other team. They have taken five poles at the event – all of those coming in the last seven races to be held in Portugal.
British drivers have taken more than double the number of Portuguese Grand Prix poles of nearest competitors Brazil. A British driver has started on pole in Portugal on nine occasions.
Stirling Moss and Ayrton Senna are the only drivers to have taken consecutive pole positions at the Portuguese Grand Prix. Moss did so in 1958 and 1959, while Senna did so in 1985 and 1986.
Stirling Moss is the only driver to have taken pole position for the Portuguese Grand Prix by over a second. He set the fastest time by 2.06 seconds for the 1959 Portuguese Grand Prix.
Pole position for the Portuguese Grand Prix has been decided by less than a tenth of a second on five occasions. The smallest pole margin at the event came at the last Portuguese Grand Prix, in 1996, when Damon Hill took pole by just 0.009 seconds.
The Safety Car has never been deployed at the Portuguese Grand Prix.
The 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix is the only race in the country which has been affected by rain – though there was some drizzle during the 2020 race.
Twelve different drivers have set the fastest lap of a Portuguese Grand Prix. Gerhard Berger has set the Sunday pace on the most occasions in Portugal, with three fastest laps to his name.
The fewest number of cars to finish a Portuguese Grand Prix is seven, which happened in 1960.
In total, 435 cars have entered a round of the World Championship at the Portuguese Grand Prix. Of those, 398 qualified for races and 226 reached the chequered flag.
Satoru Nakajima, who fell ill over the 1990 race weekend, is the only driver to record a Did Not Start at the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Four Portuguese Grands Prix have featured Red Flag periods. The 1987, 1988, 1990 and 1995 races were all halted. The 1990 race is the only one which featured a Red Flag because of an incident which did not take place on the opening lap. In 1988, the race was red-flagged twice due to collisions at the original start and the second start.
The 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix is the only F1 race in Portugal which failed to run to full distance. Ayrton Senna took his first Grand Prix victory in wet conditions, completing 67 of the 70 scheduled laps. The slower pace meant that the two hour time limit was reached three laps before the scheduled end of the race.
1,137 racing laps have been completed at the seventeen previous Portuguese Grands Prix.
From the previous seventeen races in Portugal, the winner of the Portuguese Grand Prix has gone on to win the title in the same season only three times. It happened in 1960, when Jack Brabham took his second title, in 1992, when Nigel Mansell won his only title and in 2020, when Lewis Hamilton went on to take his seventh title later in the season. Brabham’s victory here sealed him the 1960 title, while Mansell had already won the title before the 1992 Portuguese Grand Prix.
Three Drivers’ Championships have been decided at the Portuguese Grand Prix. Jack Brabham claimed a second consecutive title at the 1960 race, Niki Lauda clinched the title here in 1984 and Alain Prost secured his final title victory at the event in 1993.
Williams are the only team to have claimed the Constructors’ Championship at the Portuguese Grand Prix. They did so at Estoril in 1986. There have been seven races in Portugal where the Constructors’ Championship was already decided ahead of the race.
The 1992 Portuguese Grand Prix is the only dead rubber race to have been held in Portugal. Both Mansell and Williams had wrapped up the titles before the Estoril race.
From the previous sixteen Portuguese Grands Prix, Michele Alboreto (1985), Nigel Mansell (1986) and Alain Prost (1988) are the only three drivers who have failed to go on and win the Drivers’ Championship having led the title race after the Portuguese race. In 1985, Lotus became the only team to fail to go on and win that year’s Constructors’ Championship having led it after the Portuguese Grand Prix.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. The blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics.
Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.