Qatar Motor and Motorcyling Federation president Nasser bin Khalifa al-Attiyah has admitted that the Gulf State is keen to secure a slot on the F1 calendar in future.
Fellow Gulf nations Bahrain and Abu Dhabi already feature on the schedule, with al-Attiyah admitting that work was ongoing at the Losail circuit with an eye on taking a place on the F1 schedule.
“Surely Formula One is part of our future plans,” he was quoted by the Gulf Times
. “Considerable work on the track has already been done, but there's a lot of development that still needs to be done.
“We need to be absolutely sure when it comes to safety. Once everything is in place the track will be evaluated by the safety commissioner and then the track will be licensed for official Formula One testing. After that we will be ready to be part of the Formula One circuit.”
Al-Attiyah was speaking during a visit to the country by FIA president Jean Todt, but the Frenchman played down talk that F1 could visit Qatar in the near future, although other FIA championships could be more realistic targets.
“This region is very important for us,” he said. “This part of the world is moving very strongly and the fact that I am here means that we take the Gulf very seriously when it comes to our plans for motor sport.
“I would say the future of Qatar and the Gulf region is very bright when it comes to motor sport. We have Bahrain and Abu Dhabi on the Formula One circuit and we are exploring opportunities for greater cooperation between the FIA and the countries in the region.
“Apart from Formula One the FIA also conducts the World Rally Championships, the FIA World Touring Car Championships and the FIA GT Championship. All these events are important, so it's not proper to talk just about Formula One.”