Losail International Circuit to be altered ahead of maiden F1 Grand Prix
The circuit is having minor alterations here and there, but the pit lane layout will be heavily revised for its debut Formula 1 race.
The FIA have announced that the Losail International Circuit, which is due to make its maiden (and potentially only) appearance late next month will have changes to its pit lane, ahead of the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix.
The Losail International Circuit's current pit lane, before its eventual alteration to accommodate Formula 1
The FIA and circuit have stated that the pit lane will be dramatically altered, as the track was designed for motorbike racing such as MotoGP.
The current pit lane starts after the final corner and is usable by bikes. It is currently not yet known what the new pit lane will be.
There will also be double kerbs and apex sausage kerbs on the track to discourage corner cutting at the track. The track has been built with motorbikes in mind as Losail's circuit was more destined to host a MotoGP race, rather than an F1 race.
The Losail venue is expected to be a temporary venue for the Qatar Grand Prix, unless an "F1 Grand Prix" layout is formed or the current layout at the track is altered, in lieu of the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix, after a one year absence due to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which Qatar is hosting.
The Losail circuit is expected to be a temporary circuit due to its MotoGP-intended layout.
Apart from the bike pitlane and the double and sausage kerbs that were needed, Michael Masi has given other parts of the circuit, including the garages, paddock and layout the OK signal, meaning that Qatar doesn't have to change those ahead of the race.
“That work is nearly completed. I’ll head there again next weekend, prior to Austin, to have a look, but nearly all the works have been completed.
“There’s a number of double kerbs that have been installed.
“The circuit is ostensibly a bike circuit, so apex sausages, so people don’t cut corners on the inside, and double kerbs on exits [have been added].
“There’s a significant number of barrier upgrades with regards to TecPro tyres around the entire venue.
“Pitlane entry’s probably the biggest actual track change.”
Qatar will be absent from the F1 2022 calendar as it is hosting the FIFA World Cup that year.
“There are big run-offs and that there but obviously the big parts have been safety requirements for bikes,” Michael Masi has stated.
“When it comes to TecPro barriers, things like that is of a very different ilk in the MotoGP or the FIM world.
“So it’s been trying to adapt in a relatively short period, which is the other part that we need to consider – that we’re not talking about a huge period of time.
“The main one has probably been the pit entry from that side, but garages, paddock space and things like that were all fine.
The Losail International Circuit is more suited to bikes than to Formula 1 cars as it was built with MotoGP in mind.
“From a circuit end, I think it’ll be a good little venue for this year.”
The inaugural Formula 1 Ooredoo Qatar Grand Prix will run on 19-21 November 2021 at the Losail International Circuit, before a 10-year deal starts in 2023 at a circuit more suited to Formula 1.