By Neil Halligan
Deal likely to be signed before 2017 to make Qatar the third Middle East country to host Grand Prix race
Qatar is set to become the third country in the Middle East to host a Formula One Prix race.
According to a report in The Independent newspaper in London, the Qatar GP will be part of the F1 calendar by 2017 at the latest, if the race gets the green light.
The Qatar race could be hosted at either the Lusail circuit or be a street race, which would help it to stand out from its Middle East rivals.
F1 boss Bernie Eccelstone said the negotiations, the details of which were confidential, are ongoing.
“We are looking at all possibilities there. Qatar is not signed but they are ready to go,” Ecclestone told The Independent.
The race will be the third on the F1 calendar to be based in the Middle East, along with Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.
Given that Lusail is floodlit track, which currently hosts MotoGP races and F1’s feeder series GP2 races, it’s likely be a twilight event, similar to Abu Dhabi.
The Independent also reports that Qatar would have to pay in the region of $78.4 million (£50 million) annually to host the race, which would exceed the record of $72.6 million (£46.3 million) paid by Abu Dhabi.lifestyle news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.