The 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship will feature a November race at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar it has been announced, as well as the country signing a ten-year deal with Formula 1 to host a race in the country from 2023.
The race will take place from November 19-21st and will host round twenty of the championship, as well as being the final round of the final triple header of the season, with the Mexican Grand Prix and Brazilian Grand Prix prior to it. Qatar will become the fourth Middle-Eastern country to host a round in the current calendar, alongside Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, perhaps a sign of where Formula 1 see’s it’s future or where it is getting the majority of its funding.
The Losail International Circuit itself hasn’t held much car racing over the years but has since 2004 hosted MotoGP, most commonly as the season-opener under the lights. It can be assumed that the race will take place during the evening under the magnificent lights, this question is set to be answered over the next few weeks. International communications company Ooredoo, have been announced as the title sponsor for the race.
Of course the other big news from Qatar is that it will not only be acting as a filler in 2021 but from 2023 it will for at least ten-years, be a certain venue on the calendar. There will be no Qatar Grand Prix in 2022 as the country will be getting ready to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Interestingly it wasn’t stated as to where the race in Qatar will be held from 2023, the Losail International Circuit would appear as a strong candidate but perhaps a street race in Doha the capital of Qatar is on the cards.
Abdulrahman Al-Mannai, President of Qatar Motor & Motorcycle Federation is very pleased that Formula 1 will be racing in Qatar and that it is a proud moment for the country.
“This is a very special day for Qatar Motorsport and our nation’s ambitions as a host of major sporting events. I’m very proud that we’ve been able to support Formula 1 by stepping in and hosting a race in our country in such a short time frame, while also securing a ground-breaking long term deal with F1.
“This exciting agreement means that Qatar will be the home of both Formula 1 and MotoGP for the next decade, which are the pinnacle events in global motorsport. We have a proud motorsport history and this is the next chapter for us. Qatar will be a great destination for F1 and we look forward to welcoming all the drivers, teams, media and fans very soon.”
Formula 1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali is very happy to be welcoming Qatar to the Formula 1 family, and is extremely grateful for how fast an agreement was reached.
“We are very pleased to welcome Qatar to the Formula 1 calendar this season and for the longer term from 2023. The Qatar Motor & Motorcycle Federation and Authorities have been incredible and have moved at great speed to ensure the race can take place this season at the Losail Circuit, famous to many as the host of MotoGP.
“We have shown that we can continue to adapt and there is huge interest in our sport and the hope from many locations to have a Grand Prix. The huge effort from all the teams, F1 and the FIA has made it possible to deliver a 22-race calendar, something that is very impressive during a challenging year and something we can all be proud of.”