Qatar GP Circuit shore up safety steps


Qatar F1 racetrack with major renovations Image: F1

The Lusail International Circuit in Lusail, Qatar, has overhauled its facilities and safety measures ahead of the return of the Qatar Grand Prix. The 2023 edition will be held on October 8th.

‘RN 365’ stated that it will be the first race on a long-term contract after the inaugural race in 2021 before a year off due to the FIFA World Cup™ in 2022, with organizers expecting a large number of fans over the October 6th-8th weekend.

The 52,000-capacity Losail International Circuit or Lusail International Circuit is a motor racing circuit located just outside the City of Lusail, North of Doha, Qatar. The track is 5.419 km in length, with a main straight of 1.068 km. It is surrounded by artificial grass intended to stop the sand encroaching on the track.

The Qatar Grand Prix (GP) is a Formula One motor racing event which is held in Qatar. It was held for the first time on November 21st as part of the 2021 championship at the Lusail International Circuit, and after not taking place during the 2022 season due to the 2022 FIFA World Cup taking place in Qatar, it will rejoin the calendar in 2023 under a 10-year contract.

‘RN 365’ further stated that the capacity in the grandstands has been increased to 40,000 with the parking infrastructure also upgraded, with larger fan zone and VIP areas, including the F1 Paddock Club.

In addition, the paddock facilities have been upgraded, including new media and medical centers, pit-buildings and garages.

There are now 50 pit boxes at the track, which organizers say makes the circuit the one with the most of any track on the calendar, with the local roads and intersections also being improved to ease access for the personnel and fans.

Said Abdulrahman bin Abdullatif Al Mannai, President of Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (the sole motorsport authority in the State of Qatar) and the Lusail International Circuit, “This stunning and extensive remodeling is the product of months of hard work, ambition and imagination, and is a fitting introduction to what promises to be a thrilling weekend of motorsports. Our long-term agreement with F1 marks a significant advancement for Qatar, which is rapidly gaining reputation as a renowned host for some of the world’s most prestigious sporting events, which are sure to serve fans on all fronts.”

Qatar Safety Enhancements

New debris fences by the Swiss company Geobrugg have also been installed at over 2.5 kilometers of the circuit.

A new six-meter debris fence post spacing solution was selected, which complies with the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Grade 1 Circuit Safety standards and provides spectators with enhanced views of the track.

Paris (France)-based the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) is an association established on June 20th, 1904 to represent the interests of the motoring organizations and motor car users. It is the governing body for many auto racing events, including Formula One. The FIA also promotes road safety around the world.

London (UK)-based Formula One is the highest class of international racing for open-wheel single-seater formula racing cars sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). The FIA Formula One World Championship has been one of the premier forms of racing around the world since its inaugural season in 1950.

Stated Amro Al Hamad, head honcho of Lusail International Circuit and Executive Director of Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation, “We are expecting a large number of fans to attend the Qatar Grand Prix, that said spectator safety is of paramount importance to us. We have ensured to incorporate highest levels of safety measures on the track.”

Light panels and marshal posts have also been upgraded, with all of the enhancements produced in close coordination with both the FIA and the motorcycle governing body FIM, to ensure the track is suitable for both disciplines of racing.

The track simulations were completed ahead of construction to ensure the circuit continued to meet the safety standards of both the governing bodies.

The circuit’s current deal with the MotoGP (premier motorcycle world championship) extends until 2031 and it is expanding its horizons with the addition of the World Endurance Championship, hosting its season opener from next year.

Added Jochen Braunwarth, Director Motorsport Solutions, Geobrugg, “We’re incredibly proud to add the Lusail International Circuit to the growing list of Grand Prix venues that are adopting our debris fence solutions. As a venue, Lusail is going from strength to strength, adding a combination of car and bike racing to its portfolio, so it was vital the circuit had the best fencing safety.”

Romanshorn (Switzerland)-based Geobrugg is into the development and production of protection systems since 1951. High-strength steel wire nets and matching services monitor and protect against natural hazards such as rockfall, landslides, debris flows, avalanches or coastal erosion. They ensure safety in mining and tunneling as well as on motorsports tracks, in industry and in test facilities.

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