2015 F1

Bahrain confirms Qatar race talks ‘still on’

Qatar - Doha - marzo 2008 - Foto Giorgio Augusto Neyroz
Bahrain has admitted it is in “talks” amid reports neighbouring Qatar is about to join the F1 calendar.

Earlier, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said that despite the oil-rich Arab state’s interest, nearby Qatar’s grand prix aspirations were being blocked by Bahrain.

“They (Bahrain) said to me would I give them a guarantee I wouldn’t stage another race in the Gulf, and I said yes,” Ecclestone explained recently.

The 84-year-old added that although he arranged for settlement talks between Bahraini and Qatari officials, he was unable to find a solution for now.

However, early last week, the highest-ranking Qatari motor racing official Nasser bin Khalifa Al Attiyah, who is also an FIA vice-present, claimed that a deal for a 2016 or 2017 race debut is now imminent.

“We have completed all the steps and there are only a few details before the official signature,” he said.

Now, the boss of Bahrain’s F1 circuit, Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, has hinted that it is indeed possible that Qatar will soon host a grand prix.

“The talks are still on,” he confirmed to Gulf Daily News.

“I really don’t know what sort of impact it (a Qatar GP) will have on our race,” he added. (GMM)

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