Dhe emirate of Qatar has bought Formula 1 appearances for over a decade, including a bonus race that will be held in seven weeks on the Lusail Grand Prix circuit north of the Qatari capital Doha. As the Formula 1 management announced on Thursday, the first Qatar Grand Prix on the 5.3-kilometer circuit, on which races in the motorcycle world championship have been held since 2004, will start on November 21 and run at dusk .
The race will be the 20th of a total of 22 world championship races this season. This means that Qatar is even ahead of neighboring Saudi Arabia: Formula 1 will take place there for the first time on December 5th in Jeddah, before the season ends a week later in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
Competition under monarchies
The three Arab monarchies are in a cost-intensive competition with one another for outstanding sporting events, the preparation of which brings the blatant grievances with regard to human and freedom rights, which are in many ways disregarded in the states, the focus of the public. Amnesty International asked Formula 1 to check the supply chains around the Grand Prix in Qatar for compliance with labor standards. At the same time, “drivers and teams should be ready to address human rights violations”.
Thursday’s announcement explicitly refers to the World Cup in November and December next year in Qatar. After the world championship year, Formula 1 should be Qatar’s showcase for ten years; It is not yet clear where the agreed ten races will be held from 2023.
The construction of a new line would cause the costs to rise significantly, the amount of the entry bonus is not yet known. According to a report in the Daily Mail from last year, the Saudi rulers will have the Formula 1 appearance in Jeddah cost 50 million pounds (just under 58 million dollars), the contract is also set to run for ten years.
Amnesty International called on Formula 1 to enforce strict labor standards in all supply chains in contracts related to the Qatar race. “Drivers and teams should be ready to address human rights abuses in order to break the magic of ‘sportswashing’,” Sacha Deshmukh, CEO of Amnesty International UK, told FAZ