Iranian government planning to build Formula 1 circuit

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The Iranian government has announced a plan to build a Formula 1-spec circuit on Qeshm Island in the south of the country.

The head of the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO), Masoud Soltanifar, announced in a visit to the region earlier this week that plans were being formulated to build a circuit and create “the world’s most beautiful Formula 1 destination”.

“Iran has so many young people with an increasing tendency for driving,” Soltanifar is quoted as saying by IRNA. “Formula 1 has a great future in Iran.”

According to IRNA, Iran has previously planned to build a circuit on the outskirts of the nation’s capital, Tehran. However, its focus appears to have now shifted to the island in the Persian Gulf.

Qeshm Island is a duty free zone with a population of 100,000 people, and has some tourism history with an ancient Portuguese fort and mosques being points of interests for those visiting the area.

The Middle East has proven to be a popular region for F1 over the past ten years. Successful races have been held in Bahrain (pictured) and Abu Dhabi, whilst Qatar is also known to be chasing a race in the region.

This news follows a report by Forbes that suggests the sport may have received approval to expand its calendar to as many as 25 races, paving the way for more events to be held in the future.

2016 is poised to be the busiest season to date, with 21 races scheduled following the return of German and the addition of the Grand Prix of Europe in Azerbaijan.

Qatar is one of a number of nations also bidding to host a race, whilst a second grand prix in the United States continues to be proposed at a variety of venues.