Qatar “close to signing an agreement” for F1 date

Qatar is getting closer to landing a place on the Formula 1 calendar, according to the boss of the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation.

Plans for a race in Qatar became public in February, although since then details have been few and far between.

Last week, however, it emerged that Qatar had joined forces with New York-based RSE Ventures in a bid to buy CVC's interest in the sport.

“Recently, we were very close to signing an agreement to host an F1 race,” QMMF President Nasser bin Khalifa Al Attiyah told Doha Stadium Plus.

“The entire project is ready. But some things didn’t work out and we need to show a little more patience.

“All we need is a few more meetings with Bernie Ecclestone. We need a little more time, but we’ve the solution.”

The Losail circuit, host to a MotoGP event since 2004, is currently licensed for F1 testing by the FIA, but it can be upgraded to race status.

However, a new street circuit is also still under consideration.

“Either we can use the existing circuit or else we’ll go for a new facility in Losail City,” added bin Khalifa Al Attiyah.

“We’ve a lot of projects coming up and we’re ready for anything. We want to build a strong motorsport culture in the region.

“I hope Qatar becomes the hub of the sport in the Middle East. We’ve been hosting MotoGP since ’04 and also the World Superbikes Championship. This year, we’ll also have one round of the World Touring Car Championship at Losail.”

Qatar recently extended its MotoGP deal for another 10 years.

One sticking point could be an unofficial deal Ecclestone has with the organisers of the Bahrain GP to not stage a race in the Middle East region without their approval.

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Series Formula 1
Article type Breaking news
Tags qatar