On 10 October Formula 1 will be back on track to compete in the Turkish Grand Prix, the 16th round of the 2021 season, but the most interesting novelty inherent in this year’s calendar is the fresh officialization of the Qatar Grand Prix, to be played on the route of Losail. The event, which will be held from 19 to 21 November, will coincide with the third last race of the world championship in progress, and will open a “hat-trick” of appointments in the Middle East with subsequent stops in Saudi Arabia (at the debut in F1) and finally in the United Arab Emirates.
Just as it happens in Abu Dhabi, and as it happened in Singapore before, the track activity will also be disputed in Qatar at night. The circuit, inaugurated in 2004 in the locality of Doha, has always welcomed the MotoGP from then until today, as well as the Superbike from 2005 to 2019. Different speech, however, with regard to motor sports: Losail, in fact, was only home to the championship GP2 Asia in 2009, in an edition that saw the success of Nico Hulkenberg in Race-1 and of the current Red Bull driver, Sergio Perez, in Race-2. As far as Formula 1 is concerned, it will therefore make its debut in Qatar this year, and then return from 2023 to 2032 in compliance with a ten-year agreement.
Regarding the upcoming Losail debut, the president and CEO of Formula 1, Stefano Domenicali, commented on his feelings to motorsport.com: “The plant is almost ready, only a few details are missing – commented the manager from Imola – the race will be held at night and I am sure that it will be unpredictable precisely because it will be the first time here for Formula 1. There have never been tests by the participating teams, not even with regard to tires. I expect a lot of action on the track – he added – and I am sure that when the teams and drivers arrive in Losail, F1 will witness another fantastic event in this already incredible season of its own. We are honored to have organized the event together with the will of the Qatari authorities, even if we had to cancel another stage like the Australian one. We have shown that we have reacted well to the difficulties with the 22 races set in this year’s calendar, testimony to a very strong system enriched by the excellent relations we have in the world. It is not trivial to organize an event – Domenicali concluded – we involve thousands of people, talk to governments and draft security protocols. We have an exceptional ability to adapt to changes and Qatar’s desire to join the F1 family has been imminent. Consequently, it was normal to be able to talk about the future, creating a long-term partnership ”.