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Qatar harbours F1 ambitions

ESPNF1 Staff
August 25, 2010 « Force India plays down Monza assets seizure rumours | »
The Losail circuit already hosts a round of the MotoGP championship © Getty Images
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The Losail circuit in Qatar is the latest with plans afoot to host a Formula One race in the near future.

It emerged earlier this year that the circuit, which already hosts a MotoGP night race, was planning modifications with the aim of accommodating Formula One cars.

And Nasser bin Khalifa Al Attiyah, president of Qatar's Motor and Motorcycling Federation, told Gulf Weekly that hosting a round on the FIA Formula One World Championship calendar was the next step.

"Hosting a formula one race is definitely in the strategic plan for Qatar," confirmed Nasser bin Khalifa Al Attiyah. "We have a great track and we are currently working on upgrading it to official [F1] specifications.

"We have already covered the standard requirements and we are three quarters through the project. We just have some minor changes and modifications to make."

One of the hotbeds for promoting Formula One, the Middle East already hosts races in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi. With the more modern international venues commanding higher annual promotion fees, some of the established circuits are coming under increasing pressure to keep their rounds on the calendar. A spokesman for the famous Spa-Francorchamps recently expressed concern about the circuit's potential to keep its place.

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone is understood to be awaiting details of Qatar's proposal.

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