The Qatar Motor & Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) and Formula 1 (F1) have today agreed an 11-race hosting deal, starting this season. The inaugural Ooredoo Qatar Grand Prix will take place during the weekend of November 19th to 21st at the Losail International Circuit.
The Ooredoo Qatar Grand Prix replaces the cancelled Australian Grand Prix in the calendar and helps F1 achieve its target of a 22-race season.
The QMMF and F1 have worked around the clock to ensure the race this November takes place, despite the unprecedented COVID-related challenges and the turn-around time for a deal of this complexity. For this year’s race, F1 will make use of Qatar’s existing motor racing facilities, which have hosted many motorsport events including MotoGP since 2004.
The 11-race deal will take place over 12 seasons, with Ooredoo – the international communications company – also announced as the title sponsor. There will be no race in 2022 as it coincides with Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The race will return to Qatar in 2023 and take place for the next 10-years until 2032.
F1 Press Statement:
A statement from F1 said: “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 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.
“As part of the longer-term deal, discussions will continue regarding the location for the Grand Prix from 2023 with further details to be provided at a later time.
F1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali praised the efforts of the Qatar Motor & Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) and the Qatari Authorities in helping to arrange the Grand Prix at short notice, saying: “We are very pleased to welcome Qatar to the Formula 1 calendar this season and for the longer term from 2023.
“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.”
Abdulrahman Al-Mannai, President of Qatar Motor & Motorcycle Federation, said: “This is a very special day for Qatar Motorsport and our nation’s ambitions as a host of major sporting events.
“I’m very proud that we’ve been able to support Formula 1 by stepping in and hosting a race in our country in such a short time frame, while also securing a ground-breaking long term deal with F1.
“This exciting agreement means that Qatar will be the home of both Formula 1 and MotoGP for the next decade, which are the pinnacle events in global motorsport. We have a proud motorsport history and this is the next chapter for us. Qatar will be a great destination for F1 and we look forward to welcoming all the drivers, teams, media and fans very soon.”
Jean Todt, FIA President, added: “I congratulate Formula 1, the Qatar Motor & Motorcycle Federation and the Qatari authorities, who have worked tirelessly to quickly and efficiently make the inaugural Grand Prix in Qatar happen in these challenging times.
“The Losail International Circuit, which will welcome the race, has been working closely with us to ensure they are full prepared for this momentous occasion. We are very proud of this collective achievement. I thank the QMMF President Abdulrahman Al-Mannai and His Excellency Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali, Minister of Culture and Sports, for their involvement.
“This commitment to F1 for the long term, as well as the organisation of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and many other international events, is another example of Qatar’s strong passion for sport.”