Qatar F1 race in 2016


Doha Stadium Plus publication believes that Qatar is set to replace the German GP due to their financial difficulties. It also confirmed the Qatar Sports Investment fund’s intentions to bid for the commercial rights to Formula One.

“Recently, we were very close to signing an agreement to host an F1 race. The entire project is ready. But some things didn’t work out and we need to show a little more patience. All we need is a few more meetings with (F1 supremo) Bernie Ecclestone. We need a little more time, but we’ve the solution,” says Al Attiyah, President of the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF).

Qatar has ambitions to become the sporting hub of the Middle East and already has an FIA Grade 1T license for its circuit in Losail. The upgrades required to enable Losail to host an F1 GP weekend are reported to be minimal.

Al Attiyah also confirmed that plans were already in place to develop a street circuit at the Losail City, which is being built.

“Either we can use the existing circuit or else we’ll go for a new facility in Losail City. We’ve a lot of projects coming up and we’re ready for anything. We want to build a strong motorsport culture in the region.

The QMMF has just extended its deal to host MotoGP until 2025 and this year will see the world touring car championships race in Losail.

Bernie Ecclestone previously revealed he could not agree a race in Qatar without the consent of Bahrain. This no longer appears to be an issue.

The F1 proposed calendar that was leaked following the move of the Australian GP forward two weeks is as follows.

  • April 3: Australia (Albert Park)
  • April 10: China (Shanghai)
  • April 24: Bahrain (Sakhir)
  • May 1: Russia (Sochi)
  • May 15: Spain (Barcelona)
  • May 29: Monaco (Monte Carlo)
  • June 12: Canada (Montreal)
  • June 26: Britain (Silverstone)
  • July 3: Austria (Red Bull Ring)
  • July 17: Europe (Baku)
  • July 31: Germany (Hockenheim)
  • August 7: Hungary (Hungaroring)
  • August 28: Belgium (Spa)
  • September 4: Italy (Monza)
  • September 18: Singapore (Marina Bay)
  • September 25: Malaysia (Sepang)
  • October 9: Japan (Suzuka)
  • October 23: USA (Austin)
  • October 30: Mexico (Mexico City)
  • November 13: Brazil (Interlagos)
  • November 27: Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)

Qatar believes it will be included in the 2016 calendar, making a historic 22 races in a single Formula One season.

19 responses to “Qatar F1 race in 2016

  1. One more nail in the coffin. The soul of F1 is being torn out of the sport and as fans we feel the pain. I am sitting on the sidelines watching the management slowly strip away the history,I can hear the cries from past owners and drivers as the final pieces of flesh are gleaned from the once mighty event and I am weeping. Come on MrE, end this now. Leave the poor wretch alone and get your fix elsewhere.
    NO MoRE!!! I cry, these tilker tracks in a sand box really are not the answer.

  2. There isn’t a need for a race in western Asian/Far Eastern Europe/Middle East anymore. There will be 4 races already next year with Bahrain, UAE, Russia and Azerbaijan with Azerbaijan being the only one that will be significantly different to the rest of them. Germany should return with hockenheim anyway for next year and Nurbergring is becoming financially stronger as well so, I don’t think it will be replacing Germany. However, if Qatar buys part of F1 then they will want their own GP despite what, everybody else wants. If Qatar do get a GP, let somebody other than Herman Tilke design and create a new track because, the Doha circuit is Bahrain but, slower and more technical.

    • Isn’t it just, it is like somebody Hungaried Bahrain… boring flat busty circuits with only the hope of posh facilities and a night race to stop it looking like a godforsaken dull hole.

    • @Matthew
      There isn’t a need for a race in western Asian/Far Eastern Europe/Middle East anymore. There will be 4 races already next year with Bahrain, UAE, Russia and Azerbaijan

      Oh, silly us! Russia and Azerbaijan are both European venues, with all the motorsport history and tradition that goes with it. Or so Grandpa Bernie keeps telling us…

      • One can also call the world flat, but that doesn’t make it so. Truly Orwellian use of “Europe” by Azerbaijan/FOM.. Also pretty sure al Attiyah not only president of FIM but also VP of FIA and Doha is where FIA had not only their big Med Conference post Abu Shabi (a typo but I liked it so I’m keeping it) but also the WMSC so you can bet the Qatari’s are likely big supporters of JT’s Brain and Spine institute. Thus, FIA unlikely to raise the “being used for politics” argument, though I would hope maybe someone in the sport might step up should a race actually be scheduled there. Not holding my breath though. And please, spare me your false equivalencies. No State is perfect, but have a look if you have the stomach.

        Oh yes and thanks FIFA for being so hopelessly inept in extorting bribes that you got a Brooklyn ADA after your ass. Represent!!

  3. It would be interesting to know at what time of the year they are expecting it to be run. Bahrain and Abu Dhabi are held when the temperatures are tolerable, and neither will want to move. There is no point in saying Bahrain one weekend, Qatar the next (likewise Abu Dhabi/ Qatar), as the spectator base is far too small to support that sort of arrangement.

    On the other hand, if the Qataris buy F1, I suppose they can have it whenever they want and the others can retire to consider the financial benefits of a country ‘lucking in’ on finding rather a lot of gas underneath its coastal waters.

  4. Rich, tasteless tribesman are using their oil money to get their fat fingers in everything. “We must have art!” “Yeah and since there’s nothing significant we just buy the shit.”
    “I’m bored… I want a four door Aston Martin.” “Lets call m”
    “What about sport?”

    • Although, with Art, central London housing and classic cars you’ll only be making your money rise in value like Bernie’s compound interest race hosting fees, while banks offer 0.5% interest rates for you and me.. Oh to be rich and tasteless!

  5. They better use a street circuit, the existing circuit is horrific for car racing and can’t fixed without a lot of work on its layout.

  6. That top picture is ridiculous. All that desert, all that space, and they make a stupid convoluted slow-ass track out of it. For shame.

    • Looks a bit like a modern Jarama? On that note, Reims, Bremgarten and Nordschleife are not happy with all these ‘new’ tracks like the butchered Interlagos, Spa, Nurburgring, Hockenheim, Silverstone… Montjuic is not happy with Catalunya either.. Tilke circuits are just the next in a long line of many new ones 😛

    • I don’t know what they had in mind when it was built, but it works perfectly for MotoGP. There are at least half a dozen overtaking spots and the layout is well balanced between cornering speed, change in direction agility and outright grunt. But of course bikes have entirely different characteristics in their handling and racing.

      My proposed fix for them to hold a decent and exciting race would be to build an alternate layout linking turns 6 and 10 so the run to turn 12 would be a lot longer and faster. It’d certainly make it faster and less like a cookie cutter.

  7. Well, I can see how Baku has been positioned for a back-to-back race with Qatar (replacing Germany).. maybe best as a dusk/night race given the heat? It would be better served by swapping with Russia, but that wouldn’t go down well in Bahrain. Will Hockenheim and Monza start to alternate?

  8. Qatar could be included on the Formula 1 calendar as early as 2016 as negotiations between organizers and Bernie Ecclestone reach an advanced stage. What isn’t clear is whether Qatar will bring its Losail International Circuit up to a Grade 1 standard that would grant it the necessary license to host F1, or whether it will go ahead and create a street race.

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