George Russell, Williams, Mugello, 2020

“Very fast” Qatar track layout reminds Russell of Mugello

2021 Mexico City Grand Prix

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George Russell was impressed by his first experience of the circuit which will hold the first Qatar Grand Prix later this month after driving it for the first time in the simulator.

The Williams driver said the Losail International Circuit reminded him of the Mugello track in Italy which F1 made a one-off appearance at last year.

“Mugello is more undulating and Qatar’s flat,” said Russell. “But in terms of corner layouts, the lefts and rights, in terms of a speed profile, it’s got hints of Mugello.”

Russell described Losail as a “very, very fast and flowing” course with “not a lot of time to relax and then obviously, we’ve got this big long straight”. He believes the track layout will present an interesting set-up challenge for F1 teams.

“There’s lots of medium-speed corners, fourth, fifth gear corners,” Russell explained. “There’s only one slow-speed corner, which I think is going to be really interesting, and then followed on to a really long straight.

Losail International Circuit, Qatar
Track data: Losail International Circuit
“So it’s going to be difficult because I think there’ll be a lot of split in strategy in terms of where people run the downforce, because the straight’s so long yet you’ve got so many corners where you need that downforce.”

Qatar will be the first of three unfamiliar venues for teams. It and the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in Saudi Arabia are new tracks, while Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi has been extensively remodelled for this year.

“From these last five races, we’ve got two new tracks and Abu Dhabi with the changes it’s had,” said Russell. “And the sprint race in Brazil, so there could be a few unknowns into the last quarter of the season.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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One comment on ““Very fast” Qatar track layout reminds Russell of Mugello”

  1. I agree. I thought of Mugello immediately the first time seeing a virtual onboard lap on YT.

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