Feb.9 (GMM/Inautonews.com) 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.”