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Need to Know: 2021 Qatar Grand Prix

Formula 1 will race under lights at Losail International Circuit for the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of attending the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix on November 19-21.

The Qatar Grand Prix was a late addition to the 2021 Formula 1 calendar. Announced in late September, the new event replaces the Australian Grand Prix on the schedule, with the Melbourne race cancelled for a second year in a row due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Losail International Circuit is the host for F1’s first ever race in Qatar. The sweeping, high speed circuit has hosted MotoGP’s Qatar Grand Prix since 2004. Like the MotoGP race, F1’s Qatar Grand Prix will take place at night, under the floodlights. Learn more about the circuit’s history here.

The Qatar Grand Prix is the final race in Formula 1’s first ever triple header of flyaway events. It follows on from the Mexico City and São Paulo Grands Prix. The Qatar Grand Prix also kicks off a string of three races in the Middle East, over which the fierce title battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton will be decided. Tickets are now on sale for the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix.

Do I need a visa to visit Qatar?

Qatar offers visa-free entry into the country for citizens of over 95 countries. Allowable lengths of stay vary by country. 

You can check the visa requirements for your country here.

Getting to Losail International Circuit

Losail International Circuit is located around 30km north of Qatar’s capital city Doha. Doha’s airport, Hamad International Airport, is a further 10km south of the track.

Free parking will be available at the circuit, but race organisers encourage the use of public transport as parking space is limited. The easiest way to get to the venue is by shuttle bus or taxi. The shuttle bus service will have frequent services between Lusail Metro Station and the circuit. A single standard journey on the Metro costs 3 Qatari Riyals ($0.80). Journey times are expected to be around 40 minutes.

There is a designated drop off point for taxis at the circuit. Uber is also a good option. It should take around 25 minutes to travel from the West Bay area of Doha to the track and you should expect to pay no more than $10. Be aware that race weekend traffic may add time to your journey.

Coronavirus protocols at the Qatar Grand Prix

Fully vaccinated travellers are able to enter Qatar without a quarantine period, but you will need to provide a negative PCR test result upon your arrival. The PCR test result must not be more than 72 hours old. More information is available here.

You must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to gain access to the Qatar Grand Prix. 14 days must have passed since your final dose of the vaccine. You will need to show proof of vaccination on entry to the venue. To do this, you will need to use the Ehteraz Application, or show an official vaccination certificate from the country where you received the vaccine.

You may also access the event by showing proof that you have recovered from COVID-19 within one year of the start of the Grand Prix weekend. You’ll need to show proof with an official certificate.

Children under 12 who have not been vaccinated will be required to show a negative antigen or PCR test result from an approved health centre. The test needs to be taken within 24 hours of entering the circuit.

Tickets still available

A total capacity of over 20,000 is expected for the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix. There are still tickets remaining for the race weekend. Tickets located in Zone A of the Main Grandstand, which offers a view of the starting grid and the pit lane, are priced at $635. Complimentary return shuttles are offered for ticket holders between Lusail Metro Station and the circuit. More information can be found here.

You can also secure 3-Day Paddock Club access for the race weekend with F1 Experiences. As well as exclusive hospitality with views of the pit lane and start-finish line, you will also be able to partake in a daily pit lane walks.

Trackside at the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix

Trackside, there will be access to food courts and merchandise stands. There are three Fanzones at the Qatar Grand Prix. The main fanzone is located behind the Main Grandstand, with smaller entertainment areas available at the Losail Club and Turn 10 Grandstands.

Alcohol will be available in the Fanzone at the circuit, but may only be consumed in the Sports Lounge. The legal age for alcohol consumption in Qatar is 21.

With the race held at night, you can expect cooler temperatures than the average daytime temperature in November in Qatar, which is around 25°c. The chance of rainfall is low, but not totally zero.

2021 Qatar Grand Prix schedule

No support races have been announced for the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix weekend, though the circuit says a full schedule will be published “in due course”. As it stands, only Formula 1 cars will take to the track over the race weekend. There will be two practice sessions on Friday, final practice and qualifying on Saturday and, of course, the Grand Prix itself on Sunday. The full timetable can be found below.

Friday (Nov 19)

  • 13:30-14:30: Free Practice 1
  • 17:00-18:00: Free Practice 2

Saturday (Nov 20)

  • 14:00-15:00: Free Practice 3
  • 17:00-18:00: Qualifying

Sunday (Nov 21)

  • 17:00-19:00: 2021 Qatar Grand Prix

What to see and do off track in Doha

A trip to the Qatar Grand Prix is a great opportunity to see what the city of Doha has to offer. With a population of around a million inhabitants, Doha is Qatar’s largest and most populous city. Around 80% of the country’s population lives in the city. Here are some ideas for your stay in the historic city of Doha:

  • Museum of Islamic Art: Located in the MIA Park on Doha’s waterfront, the striking Museum of Islamic Art stands out as impressive piece of architecture. Inside, you’ll find Islamic art pieces dating as far back as the 7th century. Entry to the museum is free.
  • Souq Waqif: The Souq Waqif is a 20th century building which houses a large indoor marketplace. Traditional garments, souvenirs, spices and handmade crafts can be found here. The souq is also home to a number of restaurants, plus a 1,000 seat theatre.
  • National Museum of Qatar: Qatar’s national museum tells the immersive story of the country and its people. The restored Palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani (1880-1957), who was the son of the founder of modern Qatar, is the centrepiece of the museum.
  • The Corniche: Doha Corniche is located in the West Bay area of the city. Here, you can soak up the atmosphere of the vibrant city and enjoy a leisurely stroll along the fringes of the Persian Gulf. You could also take in the panoramic view of the city’s skyscrapers from a traditional Qatari boat.
  • Desert tours: How about a night under the stars in the desert? There are a number of experiences available to explore the sand dunes at night. Tours also include safari experiences and camel rides!

For more ideas of what to do in Doha, explore the Visit Qatar website.

Any questions about attending the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix? Leave a comment below!

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