Could Qatar host debut F1 Grand Prix to replace Australia?
Qatar is allegedly in the running to replace Australia with Bahrain International Circuit's Outer Loop also in the running.
RaceFans have reported that Formula One has started talks with the Losail International Circuit regarding hosting the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix - though talks have been complicated by sanctions by neighbouring countries and states and politicking in the country of Qatar. This would be the first time F1 has hosted a debut Grand Prix under Liberty Media - unless you count Styria 2020, 70th anniversary 2020, Tuscany 2020 and Sakhir 2020, just edging out Saudi Arabia, who already was confirmed to host a 2021 grand prix in 2020, under a contract deal, rather than as a replacement for a cancelled round.
WHAT DATES WOULD THE QATAR GRAND PRIX RUN ON?
Qatar would be taking Australia's 19-21 November 2021 slot, making it Round 21 on the calendar after Round 20 (TBC - officially Brazil, but likely to be cancelled). This date would confirm its status as the first new event in F1 under the Liberty Media ownership, excluding the 2020 replacement rounds.
WHAT ELSE IS IN THE RUNNING?
Bahrain is (again) in the running with its outer loop. There is still a chance that Qatar edges out Bahrain, but with Brazil being uncertain, Qatar could replace Brazil with Sakhir Outer replacing Australia, or vice versa. The Sakhir GP and the Qatar GP could both be on this year's calendar. F1 is looking to host races in the Middle East for logistical reasons, considering it is due to race at Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi in December, so replacing Australia with a race in the Middle East, with Qatar or Bahrain, would make sense. Brazil could be cancelled again, so again the Outer Loop could appear, regardless of if Qatar is added or not.