Having already hosted Formula 1 in 2021 due to pandemic-related calendar adjustments, Qatar is getting ready to welcome the sport again for the upcoming Grand Prix, after missing out in 2022 due to the football World Cup. The event, which has become a permanent fixture on the MotoGP calendar, is set to follow the same path in Formula 1. The circuit layout will remain unchanged, but several modifications have been made around the track.
Renovation Work at the Losail Circuit: Qatar Aims Big
After signing a decade-long agreement with Formula 1, Qatar has ambitious plans for the premier motorsport category, having already established strong ties with MotoGP. In the world of two-wheel racing, the Losail race has been the season opener for years.
The opposite is true for Formula 1, which is preparing for the 18th Grand Prix of a season that has already been largely decided. Nevertheless, the Qataris do not intend to settle, having increased the maximum capacity of some grandstands and added viewing areas not present before.
The grandstands will now have a maximum capacity of 40,000 seats. A new observation area has also been set up above Turn 1, called “Lusail Hill,” for spectators with general admission tickets. The total capacity will thus increase from 8,000 seats two years ago to 52,000 in 2023.
But that’s not all. In addition to increasing the grandstand capacity, new five-star VIP areas have been added, the fan zone has been expanded, and the number of boxes has been increased to 50, making Lusail the circuit with the most boxes of any facility on the calendar. Finally, 85 screens have been installed around the track to allow fans to follow the action more closely.
Words from the President of the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation and Losail Circuit
“This beautiful and extensive renovation is the product of months of hard work, ambition, and imagination. It’s the right introduction to what promises to be an exciting weekend of motorsport,” said Abdulrahman bin Abdullatif Al Mannai.
“Our long-term agreement with F1 marks a significant advancement for Qatar, which is rapidly gaining a reputation as a renowned host of some of the world’s most prestigious sporting events and is sure to serve the fans on all fronts.”
The Losail race will also mark the return of the sprint format after three previous weekends in Azerbaijan, Austria, and Belgium. This means we will once again see a double qualifying, with the traditional one on Friday. The shorter qualifying session will take place on Saturday morning before the afternoon sprint race. The classic race, on the other hand, remains unchanged on Sunday.