Qatar joins 2021 F1 calendar; signs 10-year deal from 2023

Qatar will join the Formula 1 calendar with a night race at Losail in November ahead of a 10-year deal starting from 2023.

This year’s inaugural race is the latest in a string of reshuffles to replace events that were cancelled due to COVID, and fills the vacancy on the original calendar that was created when the Australian Grand Prix was canceled.

The Qatar Grand Prix is scheduled for November 19-21, slotting it into the calendar between Brazil and Saudi Arabia, and will take place under lights with a local start time of 6pm. The race is a precursor to a newly-signed 10-year deal between Qatari and Formula 1 that starts in 2023, and will likely take place at a different venue unless Losail is upgraded. There will be no Qatar GP in 2022 because the country is hosting the soccer World Cup.

“We are very pleased to welcome Qatar to the Formula 1 calendar this season, and for the longer term from 2023,” said F1 president and CEO Stefano Domenicali. “The Qatar Motor & Motorcycle Federation and Authorities have been incredible, and have moved at great speed to ensure the race can take place this season at the Losail Circuit, famous to many as the host of MotoGP.

“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. The huge effort from all the teams, F1 and the FIA has made it possible to deliver a 22 race calendar, something that is very impressive during a challenging year, and something we can all be proud of.”

The 3.3-mile Losail circuit has been a mainstay on the MotoGP calendar since it opened in 2004, and hosted World SuperBikes between 2005 and 2019. The FIA World Touring Car Championship also made stops there between 2015 and 2017, although the only major open-wheel event to have taken place at the track was in 2009, when it formed part of the GP2 Asia calendar.