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Ecclestone didn't want a second race in Middle East: 'Think we have enough'

Ecclestone didn't want a second race in Middle East: 'Think we have enough'

30-09-2021 11:52 Last update: 11:54


Now that the addition of the Qatar Grand Prix is finally official this means that there will be four races in the Middle East on the calendar. Besides Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia they will also race at the Losail International Circuit. At least for one year. In 2022 there will be no race in Qatar, but from 2023 the race will be on the program for ten years.

Ecclestone no fan

The idea is to race on a brand new circuit during those ten years. The confirmation of the race in Qatar shows once more how the regime has changed after Bernie Ecclestone handed over Formula 1 to the American Liberty Media. Ecclestone himself was no fan of a race in Qatar.

In an old interview that the former Formula 1 boss had with Reuters, it can be noted that Ecclestone didn't really want another race in the Middle East. "I think we have enough here, don't you?" the Briton told reporters at the 2015 Bahrain Grand Prix when asked about the possibility of a race in Doha. Qatar was reportedly close to hosting a Formula One race at the time.

Deal with Bahrain

"I made a deal with the people in Bahrain and they said, 'If we are going to do something new in this area, whatever we do, will you give us the guarantee that you will not organise another race in this area, in the Gulf'," Ecclestone recorded at the time. Five years later a Qatari Grand Prix will be held after all and the race will remain on the calendar for quite some time.

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