Why Is the Qatar GP Not a Part of the 2022 F1 Calendar Despite Signing a 10-Year Deal?

Published 09/30/2021, 7:30 AM EDT


F1 announced the addition of the new Losail International Circuit to the 2021 calendar. Besides hosting its inaugural Qatar GP over the weekend of November 18-21, the circuit has signed a 10-year deal. However, after the race this season, the deal comes into effect from 2023, skipping an appearance in the 2022 calendar.

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F1 will hold the 20th race of the season at the Qatari circuit. Famous for its MotoGP events, the circuit looks forwards to replicate the success with Formula 1. However, the circus will not visit the circuit in 2022 because of the FIFA world cup scheduled to take place in the country from November 21 to December 18.

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F1 had released a statement that explained the same. “The step from the gesture to be helpful to F1 in 2021 to a long-term strategy was short and simple and the vision for F1 to be the showcase for Qatar after the FIFA World Cup in 2022 was the driving force behind this long term agreement.”

Heading to the Middle East for the final three races of the season, the Losail Circuit certainly looks interesting. While we await further details regarding the layout of the race, Jean Todt is assured that the circuit is ready for F1 action.

“This commitment to F1 for the long term, as well as the organization of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and many other international events, is another example of Qatar’s strong passion for sport.”

What we know about the Losail Circuit at Qatar

In making the announcement, F1 stated, “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.”

The final race in the season’s third triple header; the Qatar GP will follow the Mexican and Brazilian events. Further, after its inaugural race, F1 will face another inaugural race in Saudi Arabia, at the new Jeddah street circuit.

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The track has 16 corners, with one DRS zone. The kilometer-long main straight with DRS would consequentially make Turn 1 an ideal overtaking zone. Additionally, the 16 corners will also take a toll on the tires, making tire degradation a crucial part of the race strategy here.

While it is expected that the race will last 57 laps, it remains unsaid whether we will have another theatrical night race on the calendar. A well-lit circuit, Losail is sure to amp up the race in the nighttime.

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A fresh and exciting new circuit for the effervescent F1 grid, it will be exciting to see who finds their strengths and who their weakness at the Losail International Circuit.

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Shreya Sanjeev

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Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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