Qatar is close to signing a contract with the FOM to host the Grand Prix. The race in the Middle Eastern country may be carried out in the next two years.
Khalifa Al-Attiyah, vice president and head of the FIA automobile federation Qatar, confirmed in an interview with AFP, that the race would be held in 2016 or 2017. He said, “We are about to sign contracts to organize a Formula One race. We have completed all the steps and there are only a few details before the official signature.”
Al-Attiyah added that Qatar offers a choice of two routes for the race: it is either The Lusail Circuit, where MotoGP race is annually held, or a new specially organized street circuit in Doha, the capital of the country.
Previously, the idea of race in Qatar was doubtful, since it depended on the consent of the organizers of the Grand Prix of Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, whose interests Bernie Ecclestone, F1 boss, has promised to take into account.
“I made a deal with the people in Bahrain and they said, ‘If we are going to be something new in this area, which we are, will you give us a guarantee you won’t put another race on in the area, in the Gulf?’,” Mr. Ecclestone said.
It looks like they managed to reach an agreement, and in addition to the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in 2019 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar may also get the right to hold Formula 1 race. Moreover, it is expected that in the near future this small country may will submit bids to host the Summer Olympics.