“The Formula 1 cars can destroy everything”– MotoGP riders unhappy with F1 visiting Qatar in November

Tanish Chachra
|Published 17/10/2021

MotoGP drivers Aleix Espargaro and Franco Morbidelli, despite being fond of Formula 1, are against the idea of the sport visiting Qatar.

Qatar replaced the cancelled Australian Grand Prix from the calendar and became the latest entrant from the middle-east along with Saudi Arabia to host the motorsport.

It is not an isolated visit; instead, Qatar signed a 10-year-long agreement with F1 to organize races enacting in 2023. However, two prominent MotoGP drivers Aleix Espargaro and Franco Morbidelli, have shown their displeasure with F1 visiting Qatar at the end of November.

Qatar’s Losail International Circuit also hosts MotoGP, and according to Espagaro, it’s bad news. His main concern stems from the damage F1 cars will leave behind on the track.

Also, FIA’s planned changes, which are termed dramatic, on the Losail’s circuit would impact MotoGP’s pitlanes. Though the counter-argument is to be inclusive to other motorsports and ensure safety.

“Bad news,” he replied when asked for his opinion on the announcement. “I love Qatar, I love the circuit, and Formula 1 cars destroy everything with their downforce. Let’s see what happens.”

“I’m happy for the Qatari people because they’ll be able to enjoy MotoGP and F1, which is fantastic, but regarding the track it is very flat and very good right now, and I hope that they won’t destroy it so much.”

Also read: F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali defends decision to award races to Qatar and Saudi Arabia

Franco Morbidelli supports his counterpart

Meanwhile, Espagaro is not alone with his resentment; Morbidelli is also assertive with his opposition to F1 happening in Qatar. His initial reaction to F1 coming to Losail was that he would get to see many bumps on his next visit.

“The first thing I thought was: there will be more bumps,” the Italian indicates, although he also sees advantages in it. “It’s nice to see Formula 1 on the same slopes we drive on. It’s impressive.”

“I love Formula 1 immensely, I always follow it. It’s impressive to see how fast they take the same corners with the race cars,” Morbidelli said.

About the author
Tanish Chachra

Tanish Chachra

Tanish Chachra is the Motorsport editor at The SportsRush. He saw his first race when F1 visited India in 2011, and since then, his romance with the sport has been seasonal until he took up this role in 2020. Reigniting F1's coverage on this site, Tanish has fallen in love with the sport all over again. He loves Kimi Raikkonen and sees a future world champion in Oscar Piastri. Away from us, he loves to snuggle inside his books.

Read more from Tanish Chachra