QMMF chief: Qatar keen to host F1 race
Nasser Khalifa al Atya, the president of the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF), said on Saturday that his country is 'seriously interested' in hosting a Formula One Grand Prix race in the future.
Atya, who is also the FIA vice-president, said though the Gulf region has two F1 races - Bahrain and Abu Dhabi - it will not be a problem to accommodate a third Grand Prix event.
“Motor sport is a big world and there is no problem in having another Formula One race in the region. Qatar didn't start early, like Bahrain and Abu Dhabi did. But serious consideration is being given now on a bid to host an F1 race. And why not? We have all the capabilities to host it,” said Atya.
He added, “Our region is very healthy and we are economically stable. We are planning to host F1 in the future, for sure, and we are working very hard. Initially, our focus was on MotoGP, but now, we are serious about Formula One. It's not about motor sport only; an F1 race will bring along with it a lot of economic benefits for us.”
Asked if the Losail International Circuit in northern Qatar would be the likely venue for an F1 race, Atya said, “At the moment, Losail has the ability to host an F1 practice session as it is a Plus One Grade A licence track. It now depends on the Qatari government to move forward and bid for an F1 race.”