Formula 1 | Presentation of the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix

Here we are at the penultimate round of the calendar, at the heart of an absolutely thrilling Formula 1 season. And to add uncertainty among those already present, the paddock stops at Losail, Qatar, on a circuit completely unknown to F1.

Indeed, only Sergio Pérez rode there in promotion formulas, more than ten years ago. In other words, all the pilots will leave on an equal basis in their knowledge of the track, with some spotting in the simulator as the only experience.

No risk of rain or bad weather, which can bring sandstorms in this region of the globe, is for the moment to be feared. The schedules, which are closer to the conventional European timing, will allow a race at sunset, as in Abu Dhabi.

The Losail route

The Losail circuit inevitably resembles that of Bahrain in its form, but there are many more fast curves there than in Sakhir, where there are still many hairpins.

The track is totally flat, and the asphalt – designed for the MotoGP championship – is perfectly smooth. Very fast speeds are to be expected in qualifying, and it will be impressive to see the F1 cars evolve on this track.

This 5.38 kilometer track has a single long straight line, which will have the only DRS area of ​​the circuit. It leads to a fairly tight first turn, then to two fast curves.

The first sector ends with two right-angled turns, which lead to the tightest hairpin bend. Then another sharp right turn leads to two fast curves before a tighter angle for turn 10 left.

The third sector consists almost entirely of fast turns, up to the point of detection of the DRS zone. This is between curves 15 and 16, the latter being tighter before returning to the start / finish line.

Forces involved

The track does not require too much downforce could allow Mercedes F1 to have a slight advantage, especially as the cooler temperatures in the race will surely be favorable to the seven-time world champions.

Red Bull could counter this by changing the V6 of Max Verstappen, who already has five races in his hands. If not, Lewis Hamilton’s power advantage will still be an asset for the Briton.

We can also assume that Ferrari will be the third force on the grid, facing a duel between AlphaTauri and McLaren. Alpine F1 should be in ambush and will again have a lot to do to defend the fifth place in the championship, which it occupies on a par with Pierre Gasly’s team.

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