Losail International Circuit
Losail International Circuit (Arabic: حلبة لوسيل الدولية) was the third of the desert-based circuits that sprang up at the turn of the century and is the only motorsport facility in Qatar. Lying on the outskirts of Doha, the capital city of Qatar, it is the only circuit in the region to have both FIA and FIM homologation licenses.
Considered a bike circuit for many years, it has been home to MotoGP and WorldSBK as well as regional races. Until relatively recently, major car races were something of a rarity, though the circuit began to gain prominence with the visit of the WTCC in 2015.
Now it has been catapulted to the top of the tree with the arrival of Formula One in 2021 as part of a 10-year deal signed by the Qataris, though the bulk of that contract is expected to be held at a brand new circuit, with Losail filling the gap until it is ready.
Note: For commercial reasons, the circuit is now marketed as the Lusail International Circuit, in recognition of the new major city of Lusail which has been constructed on the outskirts of the circuit as part of the preparations to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The circuit was built in little over a year at a cost of US $58 million by the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation. Almost 1,000 workers had to be on site round-the-clock in order to get it ready for the inaugural event, the Marlboro Grand Prix of Qatar on the 2nd October 2004.
Designed primarily with motorcycling in mind, the track itself is a flowing layout of 5.4 kilometres, surrounded by artificial grass designed to prevent sand from the neighbouring desert from blowing onto the circuit. The main straight is over a kilometre in length and there is a good mix of medium and high-speed corners, including a couple of quick left-handers which has proved particularly popular with the riders.
In 2008, the circuit added permanent outdoor lighting for night races, creating what was at the time the largest lit venue in the world (a title later claimed by the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi). Musco Lighting, which had experience of racetrack lighting from its fitment at the Daytona Speedway in the USA, took just 175 days to install Losail's lighting system of over 1,000 structures, 3 million kilos of concrete and 500km of wire. There were considerable complexities to resolve; providing enough high light levels for television without creating glare for the spectators or riders while also eliminating shadows and enabling riders to see the warning flags and braking markers were just a few of the challenges. The night lighting allowed MotoGP to run its first night race in 2008, won by the Ducati of Casey Stoner.
Four wheeled action has also taken place at Losail; in 2006 the short-live GP Masters series debuted, with Nigel Mansell taking victory. GP2 Asia also paid a visit in 2009, Nico Hülkenberg taking the victory under the lights and Davide Rigon setting the track record at 1:38.699.
In 2021, the venue was announced as the host of the Formula One Qatar Grand Prix, an in-season replacement for the cancelled Australian event. For the Grand Prix cars minor modifications were made to the kerbs, with sausage kerbs added at several corners to discourage track cutting, while the pit lane entry was completely remodelled, now beginning ahead of the final turn instead of after it. There were also a significant number of barrier upgrades, including the installation of Tecpro and tyres around the entire venue.
- Losail International Circuit, PO Box 8708, Doha, Qatar
- +974 4445 9555
- Email the circuit
- Official website
Rate This Circuit
Plan a visit
Get your race tickets!
Brought to you with:
We've teamed up with Motorsports Tickets to bring you the best deals for Formula One, MotoGP, Le Mans and more.