The race in Qatar will also serve as the kickoff for a series of races in the Middle East, including on December 5 in Saudi Arabia.
The Losail International Circuit in Qatar will be the latest addition to the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship, taking place between the 19th and 21st of November, with Ooredoo, the international communications company, as title sponsor. Qatar had a strong desire to assist F1, and during this process, the vision for a longer partnership was discussed and agreed upon for a period of ten years. The transition from a gesture to assist F1 in 2021 to a long-term strategy was quick and easy, with the vision of F1 serving as a showcase for Qatar following the FIFA World Cup in 2022 serving as the driving force behind this long-term agreement.
“We are very grateful to The Qatar Motor & Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) and the Qatari Authorities for their enthusiasm and support in hosting a race this season, at short notice. We are also very appreciative of their efforts to ensure the race can take place in November at the Losail International Circuit situated just outside the Qatari capital of Doha,” the FIA said in a statement on Thursday.
“The Formula 1 community will continue to travel this season with stringent safety measures that have allowed us to travel safely this season. Since our restart last season we have conducted over 150,000 tests with 124 positive cases a rate of 0.08% and alongside this a significant proportion of the F1 community has been vaccinated already. We will continue to operate in a way that protects the safety of our personnel and the communities we visit,” the statement added.
The race in Qatar will take place on the Interlagos track just a week after the race in Brazil. The teams will face a significant challenge as they travel 11,000 kilometres. The race in Qatar will also serve as the kickoff for a series of races in the Middle East. On December 5, Saudi Arabia will make its Formula One debut, and the season finale will be held in Abu Dhabi on December 12.
Lewis Hamilton won his 100th Formula One race after a frantic final few laps in the Russian Grand Prix last week after heavy rain dashed Lando Norris’ hopes of a first victory. The rain also helped Hamilton’s title rival Max Verstappen, who moved up from seventh to second in his Red Bull after perfectly timing his switch to wet tyres. It was a fantastic result for the Dutchman, who started at the bottom of the grid. Carlos Sainz of Ferrari finished third. The victory re-establishes Hamilton as championship leader, but Verstappen’s drive from the back of the grid in Sochi cuts Hamilton’s lead to just two points.
It was light at first and only over a few corners, but Verstappen, who was in seventh place at the time, was among the first to pit for treaded intermediate tyres. It was the highlight of his afternoon because Norris and Hamilton, who were more than 30 seconds ahead in their battle for the lead, stayed out at first. A similar decision propelled Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, who was trailing Verstappen in sixth place prior to the rain, to third place.