The Qatar GP is a fresh face on the F1 scene, taking the action to the Middle East. Racing at the Lusail International Circuit is something else – it’s fast, it’s at night, and it’s different. Even though it’s new to the F1 world, it’s bound to give us some epic races in the future.
They’ve signed up for 10 years, so prepare for a decade of awesome night races. As everyone figures out the ins and outs of this track, it’s set to become a must-watch every F1 season.
History of Lusail Circuit
In 2004, the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation dropped $58 million to kickstart the Lusail circuit. With the help of 1,000 workers on-site, they got it ready for the Marlboro Grand Prix of Qatar that October.
Designed mainly for motorcycles, the 5.4-km track boasts a super smooth ride with faux grass edges to block desert sand. Riders are all about its long straight section and those wicked left turns.
Come 2008, they went all out and lit the place up, making it the world’s biggest illuminated sports spot. They had to nail the lighting just right for TV, spectators, and riders. The effort? Worth it. The first night race had Casey Stoner on a Ducati snagging the win.
Cars took the track, too! In 2006, Nigel Mansell clinched a win in the GP Masters series. 2009 saw Nico Hülkenberg win in the GP2 Asia, with Davide Rigon setting a record.
In 2021, Losail was all the rage, hosting the Formula One Qatar Grand Prix as a stand-in for Australia’s canceled race. They jazzed up the track for the F1 cars, adding barriers and tweaks like “sausage kerbs” for safety and strategy.
Concerns Regarding Human Rights in Qatar
The Qatar GP just joined the Formula 1 scene, but it’s already creating quite a buzz, especially about human rights in Qatar.
Amnesty International isn’t too happy about the human rights situation in Qatar, as 90% of their workers are migrants. And some investigations show that many of them work in pretty risky conditions. Remember the World Cup fuss? Between 400-500 deaths were connected to that. Even The Guardian found out that around 6,500 migrant workers, many from India and Pakistan, didn’t survive those harsh conditions.
Formula One has inevitably faced claims of sportswashing, with human rights issues under scrutiny.
“For decades Formula One has worked hard be a positive force everywhere it races, including economic, social, and cultural benefits. Sports like Formula One are uniquely positioned to cross borders and cultures to bring countries and communities together to share the passion and excitement of incredible competition and achievement. We take our responsibilities on rights very seriously and set high ethical standards for counter parties and those in our supply chain, which are enshrined in contracts, and we pay close attention to their adherence.”
Despite the issues, the Qatar World Cup is expected to rake in some big bucks. So, events like the Qatar Grand Prix could boost the country financially. Maybe, just maybe, they could use that money to tackle the human rights problems.
What is new in 2023 Qatar GP?
The Lusail International Circuit will show off its updated facilities and new safety upgrades, all set for the Qatar Grand Prix’s comeback. The event took a year off because of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, but are now more committed than ever to F1 racing.
Our long-term agreement with F1 marks a significant advancement for Qatar, which is rapidly gaining a reputation as a renowned host for some of the world’s most prestigious sporting events that are sure to serve fans on all fronts.
Facility Upgrades & Additions:
🏟 Grandstands: Seating has been dramatically increased, now accommodating 40,000 fans, up from the initial 8,000.
🖥️Prime Viewing: The ‘Lusail Hill’ has been introduced at Turn 1, promising spectators a breathtaking race perspective.
🧑🤝🧑🧑🤝🧑Circuit Capacity: The total capacity of the track is now set at 52,000 fans.
Fan Engagement & VIP Features:
⭐Elite Zones: Introduction of brand-new five-star VIP areas.
🎫Behind-the-scenes: Selected zones provide fans with exclusive pit-lane walks.
🕹️Interactive Experiences: Opportunities for fans to chat with F1 racers.
👀Pit Expansion: The circuit now boasts a record 50 pit boxes.
😍Visual Coverage: Fans can access 85 viewing screens dispersed around the circuit for an uninterrupted experience.