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    Return to Lusail

    Return to Lusail

    Maranello 04 ottobre 2023

    Formula 1 is back in Qatar after its only previous visit in 2021. The Lusail circuit is best known for hosting MotoGP, it is 5.418 kilometres long and no fewer than 3600 LED floodlights – state-of-the-art when it comes to energy efficiency – illuminate the track. It is the fourth night race of the season, following on from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Singapore, although this weekend, there are actually not one but two races, as the event runs to the Sprint format, with just one free practice session on Friday prior to qualifying for the Grand Prix. Saturday is given over entirely to the Sprint race which takes place at 20.30 local (19.30 CEST) its grid decided by the Sprint Shootout (16 local, 15 CEST). The Qatar Grand Prix gets underway on Sunday at 20 local (19 CEST).

    The track. Since Formula 1’s last visit, the facility has been completely modernised while the track surface and kerbs are also new. The layout is very demanding, with long straights, high speed corners and gradient changes. The main straight is 1.068 kilometres and is followed by a technically demanding braking area, leading onto a flowing section where it’s important to carry speed before braking for turn 4, after which comes the tightest section. The turn 6 hairpin is the slowest point leading on to the most technical part, with just one racing line through the complex of turns 12, 13 and 14, while 15 is a fast right hander, before the last braking point of the lap.



    16.30 (15.30 CEST) free practice
    20.00 (19.00 CEST) qualifying

    16.00 (15.00 CEST) Sprint Shootout
    20.30 (19.30 CEST) Sprint

    20.00 (19.00 CEST) Race.


    Video: Carlos on racing at Lusail

    Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal

    On paper, the Lusail track looks like being another stern test for the SF-23. Ever since Zandvoort, we have learned a lot about how best to manage our package and once again in Qatar, we will do our best to give Charles and Carlos a car with which they can fight in the very close battles we have seen at every race, fought out to the nearest thousandths, behind the championship leaders. 
    This will be the first time we race in Qatar with the current generation of ground effect cars and we have just one free practice session, as this is another Sprint weekend. It means that the preparation work carried out back in the factory and in the simulator takes on even greater importance and we feel well prepared. Once again, the aim is to bring home as many points as possible as we continue to fight for second place in the Constructors’ classification.


    Ferrari Stats

    GP entered 1068
    Seasons in F1 74
    Debut Monaco 1950 (A. Ascari 2nd; R. Sommer 4th; L. Villoresi ret.)
    Wins 243 (22.75%)
    Pole positions 246 (23.03%)
    Fastest race laps 259 (24.25%)
    Total podiums 803 (25.06%)


    Ferrari Stats Qatar GP

    GP entered 1
    Debut 2021 (C. Sainz 7th; C. Leclerc 8th)
    Wins 0
    Pole positions 
    Fastest race laps 0
    Total podiums 0


    Three questions to...


    1. We were last in Lusail in 2021, so this is the first year racing the current generation of cars, featuring ground effect. Is the data from our last visit still relevant and how useful is work in the simulator in preparing for this race?
    Going back to a circuit we only raced on once before, two years ago, requires even more rigorous preparation, paying particular attention to the unknowns, of which there are naturally more than usual. However, the 2021 data is still useful, especially relating to the track layout which is essentially unchanged, apart from a few small details and the fact it has been resurfaced. Therefore, checking our modelling will be very important during Friday’s free practice. Running the ground effect cars here for the first time adds another unknown factor, for which the 2021 data is of limited value. It means that work in the simulator is vital to predict car handling on track and to try and anticipate its behaviour. With the drivers, we have worked virtually to come up with a baseline set-up, simulating various scenarios so that we can react to whatever situations arise. 

    2. What are the characteristics of the Lusail track?
    It has 16 corners and only one really long straight. The first sector features mainly medium speed corners, while the second is high speed. Turn 6 is the only really slow corner. It means that overall, Lusail is a fast flowing track and when it comes to car set-up, one needs reasonable aerodynamic downforce and good efficiency. The quick corners mean that managing tyre temperature and behaviour is important to avoid overheating and too much wear. It’s a fascinating challenge.

    3. And what about you? How did you come to be at Ferrari and what does working for the Scuderia mean to you?
    I’ve been at the Scuderia since 2011, after completing my studies, split between Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom, when I specialised in the areas of vehicle dynamics and simulation. I’ve had various roles within the team, before I took over managing the simulator around three years ago. Ferrari is a global icon and so wearing its colours is definitely something to be proud of. We are seen as an example of Italian excellence around the world and an inspiration for all of Italy. Obviously, like all my colleagues, I have a great sense of responsibility towards the fans and the history of this team always spurs me on to give of my best in all my work and in everything I do.

    Enrico Sampò
    Nationality: Italian
    Born: 13/13/82
    In: Fossano (Piedmont)  


    Qatar Grand Prix: facts & figures 

    3. The number of Olympic medals won by Qatar’s greatest athlete, high-jumper Moutaz Essa Barshim, who currently shares the Olympic title with Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi. 32 year old Bashim, from Doha, won gold at the “2020” Tokyo games, actually held in 2021 because of Covid-19, having previously taken silver in London in 2012 and in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

    5. The highest starting position for a Ferrari in Qatar. It came courtesy of Carlos Sainz, in the sport’s only previous visit to Lusail, when Charles Leclerc lined up 13th on the grid. They finished the race in close company: the Spaniard was seventh and the Monegasque eighth, their SF21s split by just 1”205.

    39. The number of overtaking moves in the only Qatar Grand Prix held to date. Making up the most places was Sergio Perez, who went from 11th on the grid to fourth at the flag. Next up was Lance Stroll, with six passes, from 12th to sixth, then came Charles and Max Verstappen both on five. The “wooden spoon” in this category went to Pierre Gasly, who dropped nine places from second on the grid to 11th. 

    56. The year in which Qatar was first mentioned. The Roman, Pliny the Elder, mentioned it and its nomadic Catharrei people, who roamed in search of food and water. The first map to show the country came about a century later, drawn by Ptolemy who called it Catura

    99.2. The percentage of the Qatar population that live in cities, given that the country is one of only four in the world to not even have a single forest. The remaining 0.8% of the population work in agriculture, livestock and fishing.

    04 ottobre, 2023