Qatar will host its first Formula One race in November as part of the series’ pandemic-related schedule shuffling, and the nation signed a 10-year hosting agreement that begins in 2023.
The announcement on Thursday gives Qatar the last vacant slot on this year’s F1 schedule. The night race will be held under floodlights at Losail International Circuit on Nov. 21, exactly one year before the start of the 2022 World Cup in Al Khor.
International communications company Ooredoo will be the title sponsor for the event.
The Qatar Grand Prix will be the 20th of 22 races on the F1 schedule and create a three-race swing through the Middle East to conclude the season. Qatar will be followed by the inaugural Saudi Arabian GP in Jeddah and the Dec. 12 season-ending Abu Dhabi GP.
“There was a strong will from Qatar to be helpful to F1, and in the course of this process, the vision for a longer partnership was discussed and agreed,” F1 said in a statement on Thursday. “The vision for F1 to be the showcase for Qatar after the (soccer) World Cup in 2022 was the driving force.”
The Qatari circuit is most recognized for the MotoGP events it has hosted since 2004. The 5.4-kilometre (3.4-mile) circuit holds 8,000 fans. F1 had been searching for a venue to replace the Japanese Grand Prix, which was canceled in August and created a late-season hole on the schedule.
“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,” said Abdulrahman Al-Mannai, President of Qatar Motor & Motorcycle Federation.
“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.”
Because of the World Cup next year, the 10-year deal to host F1 will not begin until 2023. But F1 said it is in discussion on if Losail will be the venue beginning in 2023 because the circuit needs alterations.
“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,” F1 president Stefano Domenicali said. “The huge effort from all the teams, F1 and (governing body) FIA has made it possible to deliver a 22-race calendar, something that is very impressive during a challenging year.”
Death toll from Saturday’s storm hits 10 across Ontario and Quebec
Only a major shift in Iran or Syria can affect real change in Lebanon: Nadim Koteich
Hydro damage ‘significantly worse’ than the ice storm and tornadoes, Hydro Ottawa says
Freed U.K. woman says Iran forced her to sign false confession
‘Top Gun’ and Tom Cruise return to the danger zone
Middle East2 weeks ago
Jordan’s King Abdullah to meet Biden, other top US officials this week: Sources
Middle East1 week ago
Saudi Arabia, US strengthen cooperation in technology, space as part of Vision 2030
Europe2 weeks ago
Another Russian naval ship is on fire in the Black Sea: Ukraine
Business6 days ago
Global NFT spending on track to reach all-time high, with $37bn spent so far
Middle East4 days ago
Lebanon gets Interpol notice for Ghosn arrest: Source
Business1 week ago
Elon Musk says Twitter deal ‘temporarily on hold’
Middle East4 days ago
Jordan’s king issues decree restricting Prince Hamzah’s movement, communications
Movies1 week ago
‘Doctor Strange 2’ holds top spot 2nd weekend in a row