Porto was the setting for Portugal's first ever F1 Grand Prix!
The urban circuit of Boavista hosted only 2 editions of the most prominent of all car competitions, in 1958 and 1960. Stirling Moss, the 'best driver of the world' who never won a F1 world title for himself, flew home from Porto with the first Portuguese F1 trophy, in '58.
This commemorative plaque of Moss’s ’58 victory sits at the very end of Boavista avenue, near the fort Castelo do Queijo, one of Boavista circuit’s most scenic points. Just a few meters away from both the Atlantic ocean and the city park - one of our favorite running circuits which can be easily included in a bespoke running tour!
The F1 racing course began at the harbor-front "Esplanada do Rio de Janeiro", continued on "Avenida da Boavista" (hence the circuit's name), and then twisted its way through small neighborhoods back to the start-finish line - going round the area we now know as Porto's city park (only there since 1993).
"Danger is like cooking with salt: it makes everything tastier" Sir Stirling Moss
The course of Boavista took drivers at high speeds across tramlines, past small houses, over cobblestoned streets which made it difficult to overtake in most sections.
The 1958 event, the first ever F1 Portuguese grand prix, is remembered for an act of good sportsmanship by Stirling Moss. He came to the defense of his fellow countryman (and title rival) Mike Hawthorn, who had run afoul of the stewards - and oncoming traffic- during an off-track excursion during the race. Moss persuaded the stewards not to disqualify Hawthorn, preserving second place, and 6 points, for Hawthorn, who would eventually win the drivers championship by 1 point over Moss (source). A very unusual act according to present standards of competitive car races...!
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Sérgio is the founder of Porto Running Tours, a keen runner since 1999 and a friendly running tour guide-storyteller since 2015.
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