Qatar will host its first Formula 1 race in November as part of the series’ pandemic-related schedule reshuffle, and the country has signed a 10-year accommodation agreement that will begin in 2023.
Thursday’s announcement gives Qatar the last vacant slot on this year’s F1 calendar. The night race will take place under the spotlight of the Losail International Circuit on November 21, exactly one year before the start of the 2022 World Cup in Al Khor.
The international communications company Ooredoo will be the title sponsor of the event.
The Qatar Grand Prix will be the 20th of 22 races on the F1 schedule and will create a three-race swing across the Middle East to conclude the season. Qatar will be followed by the first Saudi Arabian GP in Jeddah and the Abu Dhabi GP, which ends on December 12.
“There was a strong desire from Qatar to be of use to F1, and during this process the vision of a longer term partnership was discussed and accepted,” F1 said in a statement Thursday. “The vision for F1 to be the showcase for Qatar after the (soccer) World Cup in 2022 has been the driving force.”
The Qatari circuit is best known for the MotoGP events it has hosted since 2004. The 5.4 kilometer (3.4 mile) circuit has 8,000 fans. F1 was looking for a venue to replace the Japanese Grand Prix, which was canceled in August and created an end-of-season hole in the calendar.
“I am very proud that we were able to support Formula 1 by stepping in and hosting a race in our country in such a short period of time, while also achieving a revolutionary long-term deal with F1,” said Abdulrahman Al. -Mannai, president of the Qatar Motor & Motorcycle Federation.
“This exciting deal means that Qatar will be home to Formula 1 and MotoGP for the next decade, which are the flagship events of world 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. “
Due to next year’s World Cup, the 10-year deal to host F1 won’t begin until 2023. But F1 said it was in discussions about whether Losail will be the site from. 2023 because the circuit needs modifications.
“We have shown that we can continue to adapt and there is a huge interest in our sport, and the hope of many places to have a Grand Prix,” said Stefano Domenicali, president of F1. “The enormous effort of all the teams, F1 and the (governing body) of the FIA has made it possible to deliver a calendar of 22 races, something very impressive in a difficult year.”