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Portuguese GP sees ‘crazy’ demand for tickets

The Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix has seen “crazy” demand for tickets with 45,000 fans expected at each day of the event.

Miguel Praia, the circuit’s event and commercial director, said interest in the event has skyrocketed following the announcement that spectators would be able to enter the track.

He said, according to Autosport: “In the first week we went online with our ticket sales, it was crazy. 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 90,000-capacity Algarve circuit has agreed to only half fill the venue for the F1 race weekend to adhere to social distancing measures.

Spectators will also be temperature tested on their way into the circuit and will have to wear masks, and they must stick to their designated seat.

Praia added: “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.

“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.

“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 October 23-25 as the first leg of a double-header with Imola, which hosts its first F1 grand prix since 2006.

Meanwhile, the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring is set to take place in front of 20,000 fans, with race organisers having been granted permission to open the doors to spectators.

Ticket sales for the October 9-11 event are being released in batches,  with different grandstands being opened up at the various stages of sales.

Nurburgring managing director Mirco Markfort said: “It is important to us in this first stage to offer tickets in different price categories. Of course, in times of coronavirus, with the enormous personnel and planning effort it entails, everything is a question of cost.

“But it is also a question of giving fans the opportunity to be able to afford tickets and to experience the race safely.”

Last week, more than 40,000 tickets were sold in six hours for the Turkish Grand Prix as it seeks to welcome 100,000 fans to Istanbul Park for its Formula 1 return in November.

Image: Christian Ramiro González Verón / Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)