The Qatar Grand Prix has literally invaded the 2021 Formula 1 calendar and has boldly taken a stand in the last three races in the East. Losail track is not as calm and quiet as it seems, but rather the insidious and tricky Qatar circuit with its oriental character. In the evening light, the 16-turn track becomes a challenge for the drivers. We will go deep into the adventure for the first time at the F1 Qatar Grand Prix 2021 and then focus on the first ever Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and the season finale in Abu Dhabi. Here are five outlines you need to know before the new race starts.
#1. The excitement of the unknown at the F1 Qatar Grand Prix
The first Qatar Grand Prix will take place at the purpose-built Losail International Circuit, 22 miles north of the capital Doha on the Arabian Peninsula. Almost all current Formula 1 drivers from Max Verstappen to Mick Schumacher admit that it will be a difficult race weekend. What’s to be expected from Qatar F1 track Losail? What kind of asphalt here? How do 16 turns feel like?
How does atmospheric pressure feel and how will the F1 car behave at the decisive moment? Nobody knows the answers. Everyone keeps this in mind when they fly to Doha. And if it is going to be a fun adventure for George Russell and Mick Schumacher, then for Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, the unknown increases the pressure in the fight for the championship title.
How does the track look like?
The 16-corner circuit was built in 2004 and is a fixture on the MotoGP calendar for two-wheelers. The tricky Qatar F1 track Losail with the main straight is quite long at just over a kilometer – the best location for the one DRS zone. So the right turn 1 is the best opportunity to overtake.
There is a triple right-hand apex, an almost flat high-speed turn sequence from turn 12 to 14, which is similar to Turn 8 in Turkey but will be particularly challenging in the opposite direction and on tires. The tires are already the topic of discussion as the teams could experience an above-average tire loss due to the high amount of time the cars spend in corners.
Expect F1 cars to reach an average speed of 237km / h in qualifying and 220km / h on race day at the F1 Qatar Grand Prix. In terms of predicted lap time, F1 official suggests 1.22.5s for qualifying and 1.28.6s for the race.
#2. Contrast of the possibilities at the Losail track
Red Bull or Mercedes F1 – who will be faster at the F1 Qatar Grand Prix 2021? Looking at those intimidating 16 corners, one will not hesitate to say: “Yes, this is the track for Red Bull”! Because Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez cars have a low average speed but more downforce than Mercedes F1. Red Bulls will look faster because of all those “wavy” corners. But nothing is that simple on this issue. As you already know, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have both changed the engines of their cars and both have added the power as the result. Contrary to all predictions, Lewis Hamilton has overtaken almost all 20 cars on the grid during the Brazilian Grand Prix 2021.
The racing experience in the past could be decisive.
Sunday’s race takes place in the evening, with around 3,600 light bulbs in 1,000 structures around the circuit to illuminate the track. At 5.380km, the illuminated surface covers the same area as 70 full-size football fields. Max Verstappen has advantages, as the track layout shows, but Lewis Hamilton is more experienced in “night races.” Thus, the updated engine and the experience of past Mercedes driver 44 could help strengthen the team’s advantage over Red Bull and advance in the battle for the Formula 1 World Championship. Ahead of F1 Qatar Grand Prix 2021, there is a 14-point gap between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ standings.
#3. The fight will be interesting – take the newcomers away.
As you can see, the track in Losail with its oriental nights and undulating corners is not the right place for the drivers’ first practice experiences. Nikita Mazepin should therefore do a good exercise before starting the engine. Actually, Formula 1 is when you either drive fast or do not start at all.
Excitement at every step of F1 constructrs standings.
And the tension is really through the roof, because Alpine and Alpha Tauri are still have equial – 112 points for each.
Furthermore, Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda are absolutely serious about overtaking Alpine in the face of Feranndo Alosno and Esteban Ocon. But despite the technical advantages of Alpha Tauri cars as daughter of the older Red Bull, experience will be an advantage of Alpine. Fernando Alonso definitely knows a lot about night races.
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz keep the team in the honorable third place in the overall standings, but the lively McLaren, for whom the move of a Ferrari is a matter of honor, does not want to give up. Lando Norris, learned from bitter experience at the Russian Grand Prix 2021, will take a good risk. His team-mate Daniel Ricciardo will help in the fight for the points. Moreover, it is not entirely clear how much the Scuderia Ferrari F1 has gained after engine upgrades.
F1 Qatar Grand Prix 2021 Timetable
|THURSDAY 18th NOVEMBER|
|Formula 1||Press Conference||15:00 – 18:30|
|FRIDAY 19th NOVEMBER|
|Formula 1||Practice 1||13;30 – 14:30|
|Formula 1||Press Conference||15:00 – 16:00|
|Formula 1||Practice 2||17:00 – 18:00|
|SATURDAY 20th NOVEMBER|
|Formula 1||Team Pit Stop Practice||11:20 – 11:40|
|Formula 1||Practice 3||14:00 – 15:00|
|Formula 1||Qualifying||17:00 – 18:00|
|Formula 1||Press Conference||18:00 – 19:00|
|SUNDAY 21st NOVEMBER|
|Formula 1||Drivers’ Parade||15:20 – 15:50|
|Formula 1||‘We Race As One’ Gesture||16:43 – 16:44|
|Formula 1||National Anthem||16:44 – 16:46|
|Formula 1||Grand Prix (57 Laps or 120 Mins)||17:00 – 19:00|
So F1 Qatar Grand Prix 2021 will be crucial for someone because it will be easier to make a mistake here than
anywhere else. It affects not only beginners but experienced champions as well. The Losail circuit race entered the Formula 1 calendar 2021 for a while. Qatar will host World Cup next year. In 2023 Losail will return to extend own racing history for the next 10 years.