Qatar will host 20th F1 race. It is primarily known for hosting debut MotoGP race of each season.
Qatar will host its first ever Formula 1 race in November 2021 and has signed an impressive 10-year deal to join the F1 calendar from 2023. Qatar will not host a race in 2022 as they are hosting the FIFA World Cup.
The Losail International Circuit will house the 20th race of the 2021 season as the first in a Middle-Eastern trilogy of races. Ooredoo, the international communications company, will be the title sponsor for the event.
Following Qatar, drivers will then race in the first ever Saudi-Arabian Grand Prix before the season ends in Abu Dhabi in mid-December. Saudi Arabia has announced that their official title partners will be Saudi Telecom Company (stc).
Qatar is not unused to the presence of motorsports, as they have hosted the Qatar Motorcycle Grand Prix ever since 2004. The Losail race track represents the debut race of each MotoGP season and in 2008, the track held the first night event in MotoGP history.
This year’s calendar vacancy was due to the second cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Organisers stated that there were too many “restrictions and logistical challenges” and the event at the Albert Park GP Circuit was ultimately cancelled.
What’s been said?
Formula 1 Authorities have expressed their appreciation by saying “We are very grateful to the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation 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. 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 for 10 years.”
However, the announcement Qatar’s inclusion in the racing calendar has led to Formula 1 facing claims of sportswashing and Amnesty International have immediately called on the drivers to speak out against human rights abuses in the run-up to the Grand Prix.
Amnesty International UK’s CEO, Sacha Deshmukh, said “It’s no secret that rich countries in the Middle East see top-level sport as a means to rebrand and sportswash their images, and a Grand Prix in Qatar would be more of the same.”
“Formula One should insist that all contracts pertaining to this race contain stringent labour standards across all supply chains. Drivers and their teams should be prepared to speak out about human rights in Qatar in the lead-up to this race, doing their bit to break the spell of sportwashing and image management.”
When is the Qatar Grand Prix 2021?
Qatar will host the 20th race of the season from Friday 19 November to Sunday 21 November. It will be the first of three Middle-Eastern races and the third in a triple header that begins with the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.
Where is the Qatar Grand Prix?
The Losail International Circuit is situated 20 miles outside of Qatar’s capital city, Doha.
How can I watch the Qatar Grand Prix?
Ticket details have not yet been announced for the Qatar Grand Prix, but the F1 will be available to watch on Sky Sports. Every practice session, qualifying and race will be shown on the Sky Sports’ dedicated F1 channel.
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