The Middle East is not shy about its love affair with cars, and that permeates through every facet of the culture, including motorsport. With Formula 1 races already taking place in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, Iran is now eager to get in on the action with its own dedicated circuit.
According to Planet F1, the Iranian government is planning to build a circuit on Qeshm Island, which sits right off the country’s southern coast. Qeshm is only a short skip away from Dubai, which is located just on the other side of the Strait of Hormuz.
Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization chief, Masoud Soltanifar, as been quoted by the Islamic Republic News Agency saying “Iran has so many young people with an increasing tendency for driving, Formula One has a great future in Iran.”
Adding Qeshm as a third F1 destination on the Persian Gulf could almost make the event its own mini-season, if the schedule organized the tracks to follow each other. We could easily see local fans making road/ferry trips to each race part of the fun.
This race is far from a sure thing, however. Iran has previously moved to join Formula 1 in 2011, with the idea to build a track closer to Tehran. This never manifested, but perhaps Qeshm’s proximity to other prominent F1 race locales works in the country’s favor this time.
The other major obstacle Iran would have to overcome would be the convoluted politics of F1 themselves. F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone has stated previously that Iran isn’t high on the list of possible new races. When the German GP of all races can’t even stay on the calendar, things are tumultuous at best. Maybe the new spot will turn Bernie’s favor and if so, the Persian Gulf could quickly become Formula 1’s most celebrated locations.