Motor sports

F1 further strengthens Qatar’s enviable position as leading sports destination

Mohammad Amin

DOHA: Qatar’s enviable position on the sport world map is further strengthened with the arrival of the Formula 1, which the FIFA World Cup host country will host next month.

In the last one decade, Qatar has hosted multiple world championships in athletics, road cycling and gymnastics besides the FIFA Club World Cup in 2019 while next month Doha will host the FIFA Arab Cup, a test event for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.  

With the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen among others set to scorch the tracks at the Losail International Circuit, motorsports lovers in the country is expected to have a gala time between November 19-21.

The third event in a triple header will begin with the Mexican and Brazilian Grand Prix.

“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,” said Abdulrahman Al-Mannai, Qatar Motor & Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) President.

The Qatar GP will be followed by the first-ever Saudi Arabian Grand Prix (December 3-5),and the season finale in Abu Dhabi (December 10-12) that’s going give the Formula 1 a truly Middle East flavour.

Meanwhile, the Losail International Circuit (LIC), located 22 miles north of Qatari capital, will finally get a massive facelift when it hosts the high-profile event.

The 16-turn track LIC was built in 2004 and is no stranger to high octane racing after having become a permanent fixture on the two-wheeled MotoGP calendar.

This year, Losail will host Round 20 of the F1 World Championship.

“We are living in an unbelieable time. We have a 10-year contract,” said Amro Al Hamad, QMMF Executive Director on Qatar becoming a F1 host.

On Qatar’s enviable position as a motorsports destination, he said: “We recently hosted a round of FIM International Baja. Previously, we had two rounds of MotoGP early this year. We always been there. There was a halt because of Covid19 but Qatar has picked up to be back again on the motorsports map.”

The F1 race is part of a longer-term deal with F1 that will run for 10 years from 2023 (with no race next year as the country is hosting the FIFA World Cup).

“QMMF have been incredible and moved at great speed to ensure the race can take place this season at the Losail Circuit,” said F1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali.

Qatar has hosted motorsport of the four-wheel in the early 1990s with 1992 F1 world champion Nigel Mansell winning at Losail in the short-lived Grand Prix Masters championship.

Aston Martin’s current reserve Nico Hulkenberg also won his maiden GP2 Asia victory, in what was only his third start in the championship, at Losail venue in 2009. 

Related Articles

Back to top button