Qatar became the 34th country to host a Formula One championship race when it hosted one of the closing rounds of the 2021 campaign. The Lusail International Circuit was designed in 2004 with the intention of hosting a MotoGP championship round that season and provides the drivers with a fast and flowing track layout.
Following F1's inaugural visit to the Lusail International Circuit back in 2021, the circuit has been completely resurfaced.
As well as hosting F1, Qatar continues to make inroads on the global sporting landscape, hosting annual top-level tennis and golf events. The spotlight was brightest at the end of 2022, when the country hosted the FIFA World Cup, the first time the event has graced the Middle East.
Fact File: Qatar Grand Prix
Understanding how the new surface impacts grip and tyre degradation will be a key focus for the team during FP1. That will be particularly crucial this weekend as we enter parc fermé conditions ahead of qualifying on Friday evening.
Qualifying, the F1 Sprint, and the Grand Prix itself take place at night, and therefore temperatures are expected to average a more comfortable 27°C. However, FP1 and the Sprint Shootout will take place before sunset and temperatures, and thus track conditions, could therefore vary quite dramatically.
The race in 2021 saw a number of punctures attributed to the flatter kerbs of the Lusail circuit. Unspecified work has been carried out on these ahead of this year's race so that will be a focus of understanding ahead of running on Friday.
The track has a fast and flowing nature as it is predominantly used for motorcycle racing.
There is only one corner, turn six, that sees the minimum speed drop below 100 km/h.
There are therefore no heavy braking events for us to tackle, a unique occurrence on the 2023 calendar.
There are 16 corners in total: 10 to the right and six to the left. The track's main straight covers over 1km of the total lap distance and is the sole DRS zone on the circuit.
The pit lane in Qatar is the third longest of any circuit we visit on the calendar, behind only Imola and Silverstone.
The F1 Sprint returns for the first time since the Belgian Grand Prix back in August.
A completely new pit and paddock complex has been constructed at the track in time for this year's race.