Qatar hopeful of hosting F1 pre-season test

Sunday 21st October 2012, 16:40 by Ryan Wood 

Losail International Circuit

Qatar is hopeful of hosting its first official Formula One test session following an FIA inspection of the circuit to gain the necessary safety level.

The Losail International Circuit, located just outside Doha, has been host to MotoGP since its opening in 2004 and has even hosted a GP2 Asia night-race in 2009.

However, Qatar's Motor and Motorcycling Federation president Nasser al-Attiyah says the circuit holds greater ambitions which include hosting an F1 race, though he believes a pre-season test session is currently the aim for 2013.

"We're awaiting a positive outcome from the FIA to our request to host F1 testing," he told AFP.

"An FIA delegation came [last week] to Doha where they inspected the Losail circuit and its amenities," he added.

The Losail circuit at night.

A circuit must be graded level one by the FIA to host an official F1 session, and Al-Attiyah is confident they will be granted that status after receiving "positive feedback from the members of the delegation," after introducing the necessary safety adjustments.

A decision is expected in December according to Al-Attiyah.

"I think we could get the green light from the FIA general assembly in December and therefore we're preparing to welcome the new season testing in F1 in 2013.

"This is in our plans. We have great ambitions to host F1."

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