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Qatar to host first Formula1 race in November, pact for 11 races inked


Qatar to host first Formula1 race in November, pact for 11 races inked


 01 Oct 2021 – 11:21

Qatar to host first Formula1 race in November, pact for 11 races inked

FROM LEFT: Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer and CEO of Ooredoo Qatar Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Thani; QMMF President Abdulrahman Al Mannai, and President & CEO of Formula 1 Stefano Domenicali during press conference at Losail International Circuit yesterday.

Fans in Qatar will witness the thrill and adrenaline as the Losail International Circuit has been confirmed to host its first-ever Formula One race next month, which will be a part of the landmark 11-race deal between the Qatar Motor & Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) and the Formula 1 (F1).

According to the agreement announced yesterday, 11 F1 races will take place over 12 seasons, with the night race — the Ooredoo Qatar Grand Prix —is scheduled to be held from November 19 to 21. There will be no race in 2022 as it coincides with the FIFA World Qatar Cup Qatar 2022 following which the country will host the F1 events for next 10 years until 2032.

 “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,” QMMF President Abdulrahman Al Mannai told a press conference at Losail International Circuit, yesterday.   

“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.”

Losail International Circuit has been a mainstay on the MotoGP calendar since 2004. 

The Ooredoo Qatar Grand Prix will replace the Australian Grand Prix, which was cancelled amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Qatar race will help F1 achieve its target of a 22-race season.

“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,” Stefano Domenicali, President & CEO of Formula 1, told reporters yesterday.

Speaking via a video link, Jean Todt, President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) congratulated QMMF and FI for the landmark agreement. 

“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,” said Todt. 

Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo, Managing Director of Ooredoo Group, expressed his delight to be a part of the historic race. 

“As Title sponsor, Ooredoo is honoured to have been given the opportunity to support the QMMF in bringing Qatar’s first ever F1 race. We have a long history of supporting major sporting events, in line with our corporate social responsibility strategy, and we are tremendously proud this history will now include the F1 Ooredoo Qatar Grand Prix. We extend our thanks to our partners F1 and the QMMF for their trust in Ooredoo and look forward to an incredible race weekend,” Fakhroo said. 

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Thani, Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer and CEO of Ooredoo Qatar, said: “For Qatar to host such a prestigious international sporting event is a great honour. We are proud that, as part of our drive to achieve the aims of Qatar National Vision 2030, our country is well-prepared for such an event, and has indeed proved its suitability as a trusted hub for major sporting occasions. The magnitude of Ooredoo having its brand name showcased in such a prominent sport – alongside other major global entities – is highly valued, and we will ensure we support our partners in delivering a world-class event that will cement Qatar’s place on the global sporting stage.” QMMF, meanwhile, said the details on tickets and hospitality will be announced in due course.  The Ooredoo Qatar Grand Prix will be followed by the inaugural Saudi Arabian GP in Jeddah on December 5 and the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP on December 12.

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