Hitting the Apex: Lusail International Circuit

It’s Qatar Race Week! Read on for everything you need to know about the Lusail International Circuit.

Written by Mees Drijgers

October 6, 2023

Losail International Circuit is a motor racing circuit located just outside of the city of Lusail, north of Doha, in Qatar. For commercial purposes, it is marketed nowadays as the Lusail International Circuit. This is in recognition of the new city of Lusail that has been constructed near the track as part of the preparations to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022. The circuit was built in just one year by 1000 workers and was opened in 2004.

Losail International Circuit with the Lusail Sports Arena in the distance (Photo via @ScuderiaFerrari on Twitter)

This year, MotoGP raced at the track for the first time; Losail would go on to host a Grand Prix for MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 from that year onwards. Permanent lights were added in 2007 to allow for racing at night. One year later, the Qatar motorcycle Grand Prix was the first MotoGP race in history to be held at night. In 2021, it served as the replacement for the Australian Grand Prix, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to this, Qatar became the 33rd sovereign nation to host an F1 race.

Photo via @MercedesAMGF1 on Twitter

Before the 2021 Grand Prix, the circuit was renovated, the facilities upgraded, and the capacity increased. That same year, a deal was signed that would keep Losail on the calendar for 10 years, starting in 2023. 

In 2024 the FIA World Endurance Championship will host its opener at Losail.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Track distance: 5.419 km / 3.367 miles

  • DRS zones: 1

  • Corners: 16

  • Elevation: n/a

  • Laps: 57

  • Race lap record: 1:23.196 Max Verstappen (2021)

  • Direction: clockwise

  • Night Race

According to F1.com, Lusail configuration for this year is as follows:

 

PREVIOUS TYRE COMPOUNDS

  • Selected compounds in 2021: C3 (soft) C2 (medium) C1 (hard)

 

The one and so far only F1 race held at the Losail International Circuit was won by Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton also scored pole position that same year.

Lewis Hamilton on track at Losail International Circuit (Photo via @F1 on Twitter)

Because the track was designed with motorcycle racing in mind, it features many medium- and high-speed corners, including a few quick left-handers. Losail is a fast and flowing track, with a main straight of over one kilometre providing plenty of action into Turn 1.

PREVIOUS WINNERS

  • 2021 Lewis Hamilton

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mees was introduced to the world of F1 by one of her friends in July 2020 and hasn’t missed a race weekend since. Her favourite drivers are Alex Albon, Lewis Hamilton, Oscar Piastri, and George Russell; outside of F1, she also actively supports Liam Lawson and Callum Ilott. She specialises in writing about F2, but is looking to specialise in FE and IndyCar as well, after starting to watch both series in 2022. After getting her Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Culture, she is currently getting MA degrees in Translation and English Literature & Culture. When she’s not watching motorsport, she’s either watching football matches (preferably Real Madrid), reading a book, or watching streams on Twitch.

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