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F1 | President of QMMF expecting full attendance for the inaugural Qatar race, wanted a long-term relationship with Formula One

The Middle East country will host its first F1 race next month.

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F1 | President of QMMF expecting full attendance for the inaugural Qatar race, wanted a long-term relationship with Formula One
Fuente imagen: Formula1.com

Following the cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix for a second consecutive year, Qatar will host its first Formula One race next month. 

President of QMMF, Abdulrahman Al Mannai, has told the AFP for fans to expect nice surprises during their debut event.  

"We're trying to maximise the occasion (and) we're trying to add more to the Formula One event," Mannai said in an interview with AFP. 

"I think we will see some nice surprises during the weekend of the Formula One," he added. 

Since the beginning of the 2020 season, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have shone a light on various issues around the world; Hamilton has led the BLM cause and kneeled before every race, with Vettel showing support for many different causes, including the environment and the LGBTQ+ community. 

Mannai has no issues with the drivers saying what they think.  

"We are happy to support the drivers to speak their minds on their platforms," he said.  

"We don't see it as an issue in Qatar because they're free to say whatever they want to say." 

Mannai expects the race to be sold-out as the request for tickets has been off the charts.  

"Of course we're expecting it to be full, because ever since we announced the Formula One the demand has been off the charts," Mannai said. 

"The current procedures within Qatar allow us to have 100 percent capacity as long as individuals are vaccinated or they have proof that they have the Covid-19 antibodies," he added. 

Qatar already has experience in hosting high-level motorsport events. The gulf state has hosted MotoGP since 2004. 

They’ve now secured a 10-year deal with F1 from 2023 onwards. Mannai admits they wanted a long-term partnership with the sport after agreeing to step in for Australia this year. 

"We stepped in at short notice, we wanted to help, but at the same time, we also wanted to have a long-term relationship with Formula One," Mannai said. 

"Having several rounds in the region is a fantastic opportunity -– especially for younger people who love motorsports. 

"And having several rounds in the region is a way to inspire young people to get into the sport and practice it," he concluded. 

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