New European Track Meets New European F1 GunS

There’s nothing like rooster tails of winter rains and towering afternoon clouds to serve as a backdrop to a racing car driven by a young German driver on a young Portuguese track.

This is Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in the Mediterranean city of Portimão, the newest in a line of Southern European racetracks which host no Formula One races but which are crucial in the development of new cars, done mostly in the winter offseason. Driving is incumbent GP2 champion and Williams F1 driver Nico Hülkenberg, seen here testing his future car on a rain-soaked track in January.

Algarve has only been on line for a year and a half, but it’s already home to a number of open-wheel, endurance and motorbike races. If judging by this home video of a Ferrari and a McLaren doing winter testing, the track’s undulating, Nürburgring-like layout would make for some spectacular F1 viewing:

Photo Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images