Hamilton "would like Algarve to be part of the calendar" of the Formula 1 World Cup

Title champion says the Algarve circuit has become one of his favorites

Briton Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) admitted today that he "would like the Algarve circuit to be part of the calendar" of the Formula 1 World Championship permanently.

In an interview broadcast by the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve (AIA), on the occasion of the third race of the 2021 season of the World Championship, which takes place from April 30th to May 2nd at this circuit located in Portimão, the world champion in title recalled the victory achieved last year in Portugal, which allowed him to surpass the record of 91 victories he shared with German Michael Schumacher.

“Honestly, I don't think I can describe well the meaning of the achievement, because it doesn't seem real to me. It's completely surreal: one moment you're at home watching Michael win every championship, and the next you're on the track, racing with him. All of a sudden you're replacing him and then you're matching his records. It's like I'm constantly asking myself when I'm going to wake up from this dream,” said the seven-time world champion.

Hamilton also admitted that "it was great to be in Portugal" and that "the race was spectacular".

“I grew up watching the Grand Prix of Portugal in Estoril and, therefore, it was great to return to Portugal to compete. It was also great to see a new group of fans, which we haven't seen for a long time,” said the Brit.

The Mercedes driver arrives in Portugal at the top of the championship, but with just one point ahead of Max Verstappen (Red Bull), as he has 44 points against the Netherlands driver's 43.

So he expects a very close race: «This time we know the circuit and know the car a little better, but since we are going to Portugal at the beginning of the year, I don't know if we'll find a cool climate like last year or if it will be hotter. I suppose Red Bull will be quite strong in Portimão, so it will definitely be a good challenge and a good race».

Lewis Hamilton also revealed that the secret for the victory achieved in 2020, the year in which the Algarve circuit hosted a Formula 1 race for the first time, due to changes in the calendar caused by Covid-19, was that he managed to remain calm.

“The key to my performance in Portugal was to stay calm and thoughtful and not make mistakes. It was not giving up and finding my rhythm. Start by taking it easy and then focus on giving my best», he guaranteed.

The British driver considers the AIA to be one of his favorite circuits now.

“It's a fantastic track to drive. There are areas where we cannot see the exits, ascents and descents, and at certain times we only see the sky. It's an amazing combination of turns, with the bonus of being able to follow and pass the other cars. The Austin circuit is one of my favorites, but Portugal has now joined the top», he revealed.

Despite being a MotoGP fan, the fall suffered by Spaniard Jorge Martin (Ducati) in the recent GP of Portugal (18th April) took away his desire to try riding on two wheels.

"I saw that someone fell off the bike at turn 1 and I don't know if I want to try it too," he said.

The Portuguese GP returns to the championship this year due to the postponements of the grand prix in Argentina and the United States caused by the new coronavirus pandemic.