Qatar, which hosts the only night race of the MotoGP, the world's premier motorcycle racing championship, is keen on bringing Formula One to Doha. And with Australia frequently grumbling about mounting financial losses for its F1 races in Melbourne and protests in Bahrain, which forced the cancellation of the F1 Grand Prix there last year and threaten this month's race, could see stars like Vettel and Hamilton racing in Qatar a lot sooner than many expect.
So, is Qatar ready for F1?
“Not yet, in the future may be," Nasser Khalifa al-Attiyah, the President of the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF), told The Hindu at the Losail International Circuit here. “We have done a lot of changes to this circuit, like modifications in accessing the track and other things. But it sure needs a lot more modifications, like the tower, relocating the buildings, many things."
But Nasser, also the General Manager of the Losail International Circuit, opened up another new option.
“It all depends on what the Government wants…whether it wants this circuit modified or it wants another circuit."
The gas-rich Qatar has transformed the desert into one of the world's fastest-growing economies. It will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup and has bid for the 2020 Olympics.
Four years ago, months before Singapore hosted the F1's first night Grand Prix, Doha held the first ever MotoGP under lights.
Well, the Qatar F1 Grand Prix, under lights and probably on a new circuit, may not be far away.