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Qatar bids for F1 test

Qatar looks set to throw its hat into the ring as a venue for pre-season F1 testing in 2014.
With teams pressing for warmer temperatures for pre-season testing, the Gulf has regularly been mooted as a potential destination, and Qatar is emerging as a possible 'neutral' venue.

The country already plays host to a round of the MotoGP series, so is well-equipped to deal with the high end of international motorsport, and could be poised to jump near neighbour Bahrain which, last weekend, also postured as a potential pre-season venue, particularly if it was to regain the opening round of the F1 world championship.

According to Spain's El Mundo Deportivo newspaper, the traditional weeks spent in Spain – recently at Jerez and Barcelona – may be about to end, confirming that the team's wishes for more consistent temperatures and conditions are being heeded. This year's Jerez test was blighted by cold weather, effectively wasting three days of development before the teams reached Barcelona.

According to the report, Abu Dhabi has also thrown its hat into the ring as a potential host, particularly if it loses the 'young driver' session scheduled for the end of the season. While there are obvious social and political concerns about heading for Bahrain, Qatar could also hold the extra advantage of being able to allow running at night, as could Yas Marina.

Although there is no in-season testing this season – the anticipated Silverstone 'young driver' session excepted – a fourth pre-season test is expected for 2014 as teams get to grips with the new engine regulations for the first time.

Tagged as: Barcelona , Jerez , Abu Dhabi , test , Qatar

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