Qatar claims it is about to join the F1 calendar. Earlier, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said that despite the oil-rich Arab state's interest, Qatar's grand prix aspirations were being blocked by Bah...

Qatar claims it is about to join the F1 calendar.

Earlier, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said that despite the oil-rich Arab state's interest, 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 revealed recently.

"Now this other race (Qatar) has been proposed, I put the people together and said can you sort this out between you? They haven't managed to do it."

Notwithstanding that, the highest-ranking Qatari motor racing official Nasser bin Khalifa Al Attiyah, who is also an FIA vice-present, claims that a deal is now close to being agreed for a 2016 or 2017 debut.

"We are about to sign contracts to organise a formula one race," he is quoted by AFP news agency.

"We have completed all the steps and there are only a few details before the official signature."

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Qatar now close to F1 race deal - official