Formula 1 has formally announced that the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix will fill the vacant slot on the 2021 calendar in mid-November.
Coupled with its addition to the 2021 calendar, Formula 1 also confirmed that the nation will join the calendar on a permanent basis on a 10-year deal from 2023 onwards.
A race at the Losail International Circuit had long been rumoured after the cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix earlier in the year, and Formula 1 had left a ‘TBC’ slot in the calendar un-filled while they lined up a replacement for that weekend.
Assuming both races go ahead as planned, the race in Qatar will form a triple-header in the calendar with Mexico and Brazil beforehand, and will take place on the weekend of 19-21 November.
It is likely to be a crucial weekend in both World Championship battles as well, given that only two grands prix will follow in 2021, in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.
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Losail has mostly played host to top-tier motorcycle racing since it opened in 2004, although a solitary round of the GP2 Asia series was held there in 2009 – with Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez being the race winners at that time.
This will be the first true test of the circuit in modern Formula 1 machinery, then, and fans will have the opportunity to see the cars on track in November.
PlanetF1 verdict – Qatar Grand Prix
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