Lusail International Circuit ready to host Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix: Ashghal


 With the start of the countdown to the Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix competitions to be held at the Lusail International Circuit from 6 to 8 October, 2023, the Public Works Authority ‘Ashghal’ has announced the completion of the development of the Lusail International Circuit’s racetrack and the construction and development of the main buildings, grandstands and infrastructure. The circuit is now ready to host competitors and fans in one of Doha’s most important and anticipated sporting events.

The Lusail Circuit racetrack extends for 5.38 kilometres and includes 16 turns. Its development work is an important milestone for the Lusail International Circuit, which is distinguished currently by being the only circuit in the region that hosts both Formula 1 and MotoGP races.

Eng. Youssef Al Emadi, Projects Affairs Director at Ashghal, said: “We are proud that Ashghal has contributed once again in paving the way for hosting one of the most prominent sporting events in the world this year, which is a new achievement added to Qatar’s track record of hosting the biggest international sporting events.”

Eng. Al Emadi added that the development work of Lusail Circuit racetrack and the main buildings was completed within just 7 months, in accordance with the highest international specifications and the precise requirements of Formula 1. Modern infrastructure, new service facilities and roads linked to the circuit were implemented to provide an exceptional experience for local fans and those coming to Qatar from all over the world.

Abdulrahman bin Abdullatif Al Mannai, President of Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation and President of Lusail International Circuit, said: “The comprehensive renovation that the Lusail International Circuit has undergone qualifies it to host the most important local and international competitions, and it is currently the only circuit in the region that hosts both Formula 1 and MotoGP races.”

He added: “The development work preserved the original design of the track due to its great popularity around the world. The circuit’s facilities were rebuilt, and its infrastructure was developed to ensure the organisation of sporting events with a high level of efficiency and the provision of the best levels of service to improve the experience of speed racing fans.”

Eng. Saoud Al Tamimi, Manager of the Roads Projects Department at Ashghal, explained that the project includes works to develop intersections and surrounding roads with a total length of 21 kilometres, to facilitate public’s access to the circuit and link it to the main roads in the area. The roads adjacent to the circuit from the North, East and West have already been completed, in addition to the roads leading to the Umm Ebairiya/Al Sakhama intersection. The main roads linked to Al Majd Road are currently being developed and are planned to be completed by the end of the month.

In turn, Eng. Jarallah Al Marri, Manager of the Buildings Projects Department at Ashghal, stated that new buildings were constructed and facilities accompanying Lusail Circuit were developed over a total area estimated at 100,000 sqaure metres. A larger fan zone was provided, and 5-star VIP areas were added, and the capacity of the grandstands and parking lots was increased. He explained that the new buildings adopted distinctive modern designs while adopting the latest international technologies.

Eng. Hamad Al Bader, Acting Assistant Manager of the Buildings Projects Department, and the Project Manager, said that the project aimed to develop the racetrack and upgrade the circuit’s facilities and infrastructure while adhering to all technical standards of both the International Automobile Federation (FIA) and the International Motorcycle Federation (FIM).

Al Badr added that the works on the new main buildings have been completed, including the racing cars preparation building (PIT), the hospitality and VVIP buildings, and Al-Majlis building. Notably, 50 racing car preparation garages were established, which is the largest number of racing car preparation garages at the international circuits participating in Formula 1.

Eng. Ahmed Abu Nahia, the Project Manager, along with the work team expressed their happiness with the completion of this important project through great cooperation and coordination among government entities to make the project a success and to complete it in record time while maintaining the highest levels of quality, to make Lusail Circuit a globally acclaimed venue capable of hosting the most important sporting events. He explained that implementing works of this huge scale while complying with the standards and requirements of Formula 1 constituted a major challenge, but it was overcome thanks to the efforts of the work team and the use of innovative solutions and precise specialised equipment.

Multiple Facilities to Serve the Circuit’s Fans

The 5.38 km long racetrack of Lusail International Circuit was developed by implementing repaving and marking works, providing new sidewalks, installing barriers and safety elements, providing lighting systems, and landscaping works around the track. Additionally, 85 external electronic screens were installed throughout the project, with a total area of 6,848 square metres. Works also included the construction of three tunnels South and North of the Circuit and a pedestrian tunnel.

The track has been initially approved by Formula 1, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) and the International Motorcycle Federation (FIM), with the final approval of the track to take place at the beginning of October.

Eng. Fatma Al-Abdulmalek, Project Engineer in the Buildings Projects Department at Ashghal, mentioned that about 15,000 indoor and outdoor parking spaces were provided, including VIP parking, in addition to increasing the circuit’s capacity to 40,000 spectators including the main and temporary grandstands, the guest grandstand, the preparation building grandstand, and the natural grandstand (Lusail Hill) which is a high hill from which spectators can watch the race, along with a group of viewing stands around the circuit. 180,000 sqm of green spaces were also implemented.

It is noteworthy that the works of the Lusail International Circuit’s Academy (Qatar Motor Sports Academy) are currently being implemented and are scheduled to be completed in November 2023. Service road works are also being constructed to serve urban growth in the area, and they are expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2024.

Exceptional Efforts in Facing Challenges

Eng. Ahmed Abu Nahia stated that the works of the Lusail International Circuit Upgrade Project included the installation of many complex and heavy steel structures, each of which had its own challenges that faced the project team.

Eng. Ahmed Abu Nahia explained that constructing the VVIP building’s canopy was the most difficult task in the project, as this huge canopy has a diametre of 60 metres and a total weight of 330 tons. It consists of steel plates arranged in a unique design to give the shape of tree branches. To be able to construct the canopy with this large weight and in the required shape, the canopy was divided into main and subsidiary parts to be assembled on site and installed in several stages using a 400-ton crawler crane.

Installing the canopy of Al Majlis building as a single piece, weighing 68 tons, was a challenge in itself due to its large weight which required the use of a 400-ton crawler crane. This task required careful coordination and a specialised work team with high skills.

The project included the implementation of several huge steel canopies distributed throughout the circuit to add an aesthetic appearance to the open areas, including the paddock area. The limited space available for the crane to pass through and the danger of movement in the installation locations between buildings increased the difficulty of implementing this task, which was crowned with success thanks to the efficiency of the work team and the engineering effort paid to accomplish it.

Furthermore, a canopy equipped with a giant screen was built for the escalator of the race car preparation building (PIT). The VIP hospitality platform in the PIT building also featured a uniquely designed spiral staircase surrounded by V-shaped steel columns, and a large steel platform overlooking the circuit’s starting line.

The project also included a workshop building which was built entirely from steel pieces, with an area of 2,470 square metres and a height of 14 metres, in addition to the steel structures to install giant screens on in various areas of the project.

It is worth mentioning that the first phase of the Lusail International Circuit Upgrade Project had contributed to the success of the Qatar Grand Prix held in March 2021, and the MotoGP World Championship hosted by Qatar in April of the same year. ​​

Source: Peninsula

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