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Qatar pit "the biggest change" ahead of F1 debut

Qatar pit "the biggest change" ahead of F1 debut

F1 News

Qatar pit "the biggest change" ahead of F1 debut

Qatar pit "the biggest change" ahead of F1 debut
Ian Parkes & Sam Hall

FIA race director Michael Masi has explained the "biggest track change" made to the Losail International Circuit ahead of Formula 1's maiden visit to Qatar is the pit entry.

Qatar will host the third-last race of the current season on November 21 as part of a 10-year deal with F1.

Although Losail is unlikely to become the event's permanent home, Masi outlined a number of changes being made to the circuit to make it suitable for F1, with the pit entry a major area of focus.

"I have been to Qatar," said Masi. "I went after Hungary, actually. It was probably more than 46 degrees [centigrade] during track inspection.

"They are changing the pit lane entry completely so what was the pit lane entry for the bikes will change dramatically and that work is nearly completed.

"I will head there again prior to Austin [next weekend's United States Grand Prix] to have a look but nearly all the works have been completed."

Currently, the pit entry is angled sharply towards the infield with a small braking zone and although no details were offered as to the changes being made, it is likely the FIA would seek to extend this zone.

On other changes, Masi added: "There are a number of double kerbs that are being installed because the circuit is essentially a bike circuit.

"[Also] Apex sausages so people don't cut the corner on the inside and double-kerbs on exits are a big one from the circuit's perspective, as well as a significant number of barrier upgrades with regards to Tecpro and tyres around the entire venue.

"The pit lane is probably the biggest track change, let's call it.

“There are big runoffs but obviously the big parts have been the safety requirements for bikes such as when it comes to Tecpro barriers and things like, that is a very different ilk in the MotoGP or the FIM world.

“So it has been trying to adapt in a relatively short period which is the other part that we need to consider, that we’re not talking about a huge period of time."

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