Sunday, 8 February 2015

Qatar to host a Formula One race in the next two years

(Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team)

Qatar is set to host a Formula One Grand Prix within the next two years after the Gulf state confirmed that they are close to reaching an agreement with Formula One Supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

A race could potentially take place in either the capital Doha or at the permanent Losail circuit which has played host to Moto GP races since 2004. The circuit could be available to host a Formula One race as Formula One shares a number of venues with Moto GP such as at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia and at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas.

Nasser bin Khalifa al Attiyah who is head of the Qatar Motorsport Federation and Vice president of the FIA has said that a race could take place in the region as early as 2017 as they just need to iron out some of the final details in the contract with Mr Ecclestone. It had been thought that any new Formula One race in the Middle East would require the permission of the Bahrain Grand Prix organisers but there has been no mention about this recently.

If Qatar does indeed get the green light to host a Formula One race it would become the third country in the Middle East to host a Grand Prix after Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.

Formula One will have one new race this season with Mexico City returning to the sport for the first time in over 20 years this season, while Azerbaijan will join the Formula One calendar in 2016 hosting the European Grand Prix in the capital Baku next season.

© Ben Johnston 2015

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