Defending champion Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen now also lead the thrilling duel in Formula 1 over Qatar. As expected, the host country of the 2022 World Cup will jump in with a race for the canceled Australian Grand Prix. As Formula 1 also announced on Thursday, Qatar will have a permanent place in the World Cup calendar for ten years from 2023.
The race in Melbourne could not be held this season due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and despite an initial postponement. Instead, the last three races of the season will be a Middle East trip for the motorsport premier class.
The Grand Prix at the Losail International Circuit is scheduled for November 21st (4:00 p.m. CET), which is also a logistical challenge: the Sunday before the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo (November 14th) will be held, a week before that the race in Mexico City (November 7th). So, at the end of the three-pack, Qatar follows. The course on the peninsula is 5.38 kilometers long, from Doha it is around 30 kilometers.
Premiere for Qatar GP in Formula 1
MotoGP has been racing on the desert circuit since the track opened in 2004; the 16 corners and the start and finish straight of over one kilometer will be a premiere for Formula 1. “We have proven that we can adapt. There is huge interest in our sport and many hope to be able to host a Grand Prix, ”said Formula 1 managing director Stefano Domenicali.
This means that, despite the pandemic, Formula 1 remains on a record course with 22 races for the first time. After the floodlit race in Qatar, the teams have a week off before the premiere in Saudi Arabia continues on December 5th. The season finale, in which seven-time world champion Hamilton is currently two points ahead of his Dutch challenger Verstappen in the Red Bull, will take place in Abu Dhabi on December 12th.