Here’s what the Formula 1 teams have been saying ahead of the inaugural Qatar races taking place this weekend at the Losail International Circuit.
As Qatar puts the gears into motion for its first ever Grand Prix, the Formula 1 racers have felt the hype as they arrive to the Gulf state for the inaugural event.
Racing with Red Bull Racing-Honda, Mexico’s Sergio Perez has expressed his excitement to be driving the Losail International Circuit, saying “it is a really fast track, with a lot of downforce required so we will see how quick we can be.” His counterpart, Dutchman Max Verstappen, also commented on the track.
“It’s a new track and we’ve obviously never been there so I’m excited to see how it’s going to be driving the track, hopefully we can perform well there,” said the Redbull driver.
Alpine-Renault’s Frenchman Esteban Ocon also looked forward to the challenge. “Learning a new track probably places more of an emphasis on the driver as it’s all about trying to get up to speed quickly and try and find some things that others might not,” said the French racer.
Ocon’s counterpart under Alpine-Renault, Spain’s Fernando Alonso, also commented on the new territory, saying “it’ll be interesting to see how a Formula 1 car behaves around the circuit compared to a motorcycle.”
The Losail circuit is accustomed to two wheeled vehicles, hosting the MotoGP (motorcycle) in the past.
Canadian Aston Martin-Mercedes racer Lance Stroll commented on his performance in São Paolo ahead of the Qatar GP.
“Last weekend’s result was a tough one to take on the chin as our race was compromised by factors out of our control. We are all focused now on Qatar, which will be a fast, flowing circuit where overtaking will be quite difficult. So it will be crucial to secure a good qualifying performance on Saturday,” said the Canadian racer.
A collision at the Brazilian GP with AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda saw Stroll retiring from the race.
As for British McLaren-Mercedes racer Lando Norris, a taste of the circuit has added to the hype of tackling a new track. “I drove the Losail circuit in the simulator, to get an idea of what to expect over the weekend. Racing in new places is always a challenge, which is exciting for us as drivers, as we have to adapt to something new,” said the racer.