Located in between Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, the emirate of Qatar boasts the highest concentration of wealth of anywhere in the world, and it's been playing an increasing role in world motorsports. Set to host the FIFA World Cup of soccer in 2022, Qatar has held a MotoGP race since 2004 – the same year that neighboring emirate Bahrain started hosting F1. It's hosted the GP2 Asia series and the short-lived GP Masters series (pictured), as well as this year's FIA prize-giving gala. And now Qatar reportedly wants an F1 race of its own.
According to Autosport, the proposal would skip the Losail circuit where the MotoGP race is held and instead put together a street circuit, similar to Monaco or Long Beach, in the planned city of Lusail, 14 miles north of the capital Doha. Both the Bahrain and Abu Dhabi races are held on purpose-built closed circuits. The plan would be to hold it as soon as next year, but there's one sticking point.
Possibly blocking the proposal would be Bahrain, which doesn't have an official veto, per se, but is said to hold sway over Bernie Ecclestone, who ultimately decides which countries get a grand prix and which don't. If Bahrain's ruling family gets its way, the prospect of adding another F1 race to the southern shores of the Persian Gulf could come to a grinding halt.