Losail was built with motorcycles in mind and has held MotoGP races since 2004. Earlier this year Johann Zarco was clocked at a record-breaking 225.2mph on the circuit but Nico Hülkenberg currently holds the qualifying lap record at the circuit, thanks to a GP2 round in 2009.
The track had been tipped to join the calendar since this summer when a revised schedule was published, with the 20th race of the year to be confirmed.
“We are very pleased to welcome Qatar to the Formula 1 calendar this season and for the longer term from 2023,” said Stefano Domenicali, F1’s CEO. “The Qatar Motor & Motorcycle Federation and Authorities have been incredible and have moved at great speed to ensure the race can take place this season at the Losail Circuit, famous to many as the host of MotoGP.”
Jean Todt, president of the FIA indicated that Qatar was looking to bolster its reputation as a sporting destination beyond next year when it hosts the football World Cup.
“This is a very special day for Qatar Motorsport and our nation’s ambitions as a host of major sporting events,” said Abdulrahman Al-Mannai, President of the Qatar Motor & Motorcycle Federation. “I’m very proud that we’ve been able to support Formula 1 by stepping in and hosting a race in our country in such a short time frame, while also securing a ground-breaking long term deal with F1.”
“This exciting agreement means that Qatar will be the home of both Formula 1 and MotoGP for the next decade, which are the pinnacle events in global motorsport.”