Portugal made a triumphant return to the Formula One calendar in 2020, mainly since it is in Europe, and F1 aimed to host a majority of their races in Europe. But the race in itself was unpredictable, exciting, and topsy-turvy, with Carlos Sainz briefly leading the race in McLaren.
It ended with the usual suspects in Hamilton, Bottas, and Verstappen grabbing the podium positions, but the slippery nature of the relayer circuit made for an exciting watch. Formula One thus decided to go racing at the Algarve International Circuit again in 2021. Let’s take a look at the sponsors who have made it possible for the Formula One to go racing again in Portimão:
Heineken – Heineken has been a long-term F1 sponsor, joining forces in 2016. That year, Heineken sponsored the Italian Grand Prix and used F1 to expand its brand at around 6 Grand Prix. Since then, Heineken has been the title sponsor of at least 3 F1 races every year, appearing in 6 other F1 races. The deal, running till 2023, is valued at $250 million, a cool ~$30 million a year.
Live fan events, Heineken experience, and PR events are all part of the deal signed. Heineken expects to create value worth $400 million from this deal, making it a hugely profitable venture for the Dutch brewing giant. They have signed up F1 legends David Coulthard and Sir Jackie Stewart as brand ambassadors to promote their brand.
Cresc Algarve 2020 – Cresc Algarve 2020 is a government wing focusing on the development of Algarve and its surroundings. It has partnered up with Autodromo do Algarve, sponsoring events at the International circuit.
Portugal 2020 – Another government initiative focused on tackling projects relevant to bagging European Union contracts, Portugal 2020, has been sponsoring events at the Algarve International Circuit, boosting its brand image and raising awareness about its cause and efforts,
Turismo de Portugal – Turismo de Portugal, as the name suggests, promotes Portugal tourism. It is a no-brainer then that they sponsor and promote the Portuguese Grand Prix. Pre-Covid, close to 200,000 fans flood a Grand Prix event over the weekend, bringing big money to the country and the region. Thus, Turismo de Portugal works with the Algarve International Circuit to promote the race.
MEO – MEO is a Portuguese electronics company. MEO is one of the biggest electronics producers in the country, and they leverage the global appeal of a Formula One Grand Prix to boost their brand and promote their products.
Sarges – Sarges is a local Portuguese beer brewing company. The lager brand sponsors the Algarve International circuit and has been a long-term partner. They have played a big part in gathering the finances required to host a Formula One Grand Prix.
Galp – Galp Energia is a Portuguese corporation consisting of more than 100 companies engaged in natural gas supply, regasification, transport, storage and distribution, petroleum product exploration, production, refining, trading, logistics, and retailing. They are one of the behemoths of the Portuguese economy and have been sponsoring events at the Algarve International circuit for a long time.
IPDJ – The Portuguese Institute of Sport and Youth (IPDJ) focuses on the execution of an integrated and decentralized policy for the areas of sports and youth, in close collaboration with public and private entities, namely with sports organizations, youth associations, students, and local authorities. They sponsor all motor racing events in the Algarve International Circuit, in line with their mission statement of promoting sports, especially for the youth of Portugal.