When a race ends, with the checkered flag, the organization of the next year’s grand prix begins. F1 announced on September 30 that it would visit Qatar on the weekend of November 20 and 21 and the circuit of Losail had to condense the preparations of twelve months of work into eight weeks: adapting the track to the demands of the FIA, also accepting the requests of Liberty Media and teams, learning the championship procedures… The result, judging by those who attend all the races on the calendar, is outstanding.
Juan Baquero is the director of the Qatari circuit, Before, it was from Jerez, and he explains to AS an intense process from which he is now bearing fruit: “We have had very important support from the government, but even so there are many details. We are used to organizing MotoGP and F1 is similar, but on a much larger scale due to the amount of needs. The handicap, knowing that you were talking to the right person, because we didn’t know each other. But I think it has been achieved and the ‘feedback’ is good, the teams are happy with the ‘set-up’, the drivers are happy with such a fast circuit and we have the ‘no tickets’.
Among the comments he receives: “They are quite impressed with what has been done in such a short time, because a grand prize is being prepared from one year to the next and also in this case the teams did not know what they were going to find. I sent a team to follow the Turkish GP and I was in Austin, which has a similar mount. There were many meetings to get to this ”.
Domenicali conveyed privately that he is impressed by the changes that the route has undergone. Baquero agrees: “The ‘paddock’ was not like that, they were work booths, and on the track the pit-lane entrance was changed because it couldn’t be on the straight, since they would enter 240 km / h. All in record time. There was no time for tec-pro barriers so we built two kilometers of tire barriers in three weeks and received, five days ago, the tec-pro that the Vietnam GP did not use. Everything was assembled in three shifts. A team achievement after a brutal effort ”.
Three options for the future of the Qatar GP
The Qatari GP signed a ten-year contract with F1, with a hiatus in 2022 for the World Cup. There are three possible scenarios from 2023 onwards: “The circuit was built in 2004. The track is very good, but the country wants to have a higher level circuit. The only fixed grandstand is on the straight and many things have to be improved, for example the accesses. There are several projects for the future: a new circuit, reform this or an urban track (in Doha). The decision will be made soon so that it is ready in November 2023 ”. It will be ready, no doubt.