Here's How Much The Qataris Are Spending On Doha's Huge Track Modifications
The Lusail International Circuit is currently undergoing a massive rebuild. To prepare the track for Formula 1, the Qataris are investing millions.
After the promoters at the Lusail International Circuit had agreed with Formula 1 on a ten-year contract starting in 2023, the series’ officials demanded a comprehensive renewal of the track’s infrastructure.
In order to be able to meet the requirements, the Qataris delayed the Motorcycle Grand Prix to November – massive reconstruction work is underway.
After the first construction work had started last year, a first review by MotoGP and F1 officials was set for this week.
Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta, together with MotoGP sporting director Carlos Ezpeleta and safety director Tome Alonso met F1 CEO Claudio Domenicali in Doha to get informed on the current state of the renovation work.
A Complete Overhaul And Staggering Costs
The group was received by Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation President Abdul Rahman bin Abdul Latif Al Mannai.
The Qatari heads the only motorsport authority in the country that simultaneously acts as organizer and promoter for both Grand Prix.
After a tour of the barely recognizable track and a pompous presentation of the Qataris’ objectives, it was concluded:
Neither the MotoGP Grand Prix in November nor the Formula 1 race in early October is at risk.
The circuit, built in 2003/2004 at a cost of 58 million US dollars, is receiving a complete makeover for the 2023 season.
The work schedule seems overwhelming: new asphalt, new kerbs, a new drainage system, improved safety barriers, new track-internal roads, as well as a completely new pit lane and an overhaul of the infrastructure network, including access roads in the general area of the track.
How much will the promoters have to pay for all this? A whopping 370 million US dollars have been budgeted, which would work out as six times the costs of the original construction work in 2003 and 2004.
The reconstruction under the two main themes “Upgrade of Lusail Circuit and Surrounding Roads” and “Racetrack and Infrastructure” will certainly be one of the largest motorsport event projects in the world.
However, all that really becomes peanuts compared to what the Qataris built and achieved in the past.
The FIFA World Cup in November and December 2022 for example was reported to cost more than 200 billion US dollars. The tournament in Qatar was the most expensive World Cup ever.