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Losail Circuit upgrades reveal ahead of F1 race

Written by Hugh Waring, Edited by Meghana Sree

Images: QMMF

Losail circuit chiefs have revealed extensive upgrades to the Losail International Circuit in preparation for the highly anticipated Formula 1 race scheduled for October. The enhancements aim to transform the event into the country's annual "World Cup" of motorsport. Qatar stepped in last year to fill a void in the Formula 1 calendar caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequently secured a 10-year deal with the championship starting in 2023.

The Losail circuit faced certain limitations during its initial hosting of the F1 race due to the presence of small pit garages originally designed for MotoGP, as well as temporary team hospitality buildings in the paddock. In response, the circuit management has undertaken an ambitious construction project to build an entirely new pit and paddock complex. The upgrades include the addition of tunnels, improvements to access and parking, as well as a complete resurfacing of the track. However, the circuit layout itself remains unchanged.

Amro Al-Hamad, CEO of the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation and The Losail International Circuit, expressed his enthusiasm for the upgraded facilities, stating: "The F1 paddock is state of the art. We've collected lots of lessons learned from other circuits around the world." The new pit garages, specifically designed for F1 racing, are now more spacious and advanced compared to the previous ones used for MotoGP. With a total of 50 pit boxes, Losail boasts one of the highest pit box capacities among all the circuits on the F1 calendar.

Images: QMMF

The team buildings have also undergone a complete transformation, offering upgraded facilities for the participating teams. Additionally, the circuit has expanded its tunnel infrastructure from one to four tunnels, catering to the smooth flow of spectators entering and exiting the venue.

Al-Hamad emphasized the collaborative efforts between various authorities in Qatar, leveraging the experiences and lessons learned from hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022. He stated, "All the departments, all the authorities in the state of Qatar are eager to actually come and help us out with all that they collected during that period. Everybody now is very eager to share their experiences with us to make sure that we deliver an even higher calibre event than the World Cup was."

Images: QMMF

While the upgrades at the permanent Losail circuit indicate a preference for its long-term use as the F1 venue, the possibility of a street race in Doha has not been completely ruled out. Al-Hamad clarified, "It was one of the many ideas that we had already on our agenda. It's just something that we explored. Maybe, probably, it's going to be something in the future. I'm not telling you it's going to be, but we're just open now for so many ideas."

With the Losail circuit's extensive upgrades and the dedication of Qatar's authorities, motorsport enthusiasts can eagerly anticipate an exceptional Formula 1 race in October, which promises to showcase the country's commitment to delivering a world-class sporting event.


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