Vietnam’s capital Hanoi set to host the country’s first ever Formula 1 GP in 2020.
The First Addition of F1’s New Ownership
This will be the first new addition to the calendar since Liberty Media took ownership of the sport. Back in January 2017 the conglomerate finalised a deal for £3.4billion to purchase the F1 group.
The proposed track layout for Hanoi will be approximately 5.5km in length, Silverstone is 5.8km for a point of reference. The circuit will feature twenty-two turns two more than Spa Francorchamps – making for a very tight, technical track.
Hanoi will be the fourth street circuit on the calendar alongside Monaco, Azerbaijan, and Singapore.
The track has been designed in collaboration with Hermann Tilke who was behind Sochi, Sepang, and Shanghai.
In the past he has been the subject of controversy from the likes of Sir Jackie Stewart and Mark Webber for a distinct lack of overtaking zones which many claim leads to ‘boring’ races.
However, in an effort to make an exciting addition to the Formula 1 track roster numerous iconic tracks have been studied and elements incorporated into Hanoi’s design.
Cited for inspiration in the design of the 5.5km long track are Monaco, Nürburgring Nordschliefe, Suzuka, and Sepang. Whether Hanoi can capture the magic which these tracks have, however, is to be seen come race day.
Vietnam is the third South-East Asian country to host a GP following Singapore and Malaysia, the latter of which was cancelled in 2017 due to poor ticket sales.
Chase Carey, F1’s Chief-Executive said in a recent press release:
Since we became involved in this sport in 2017, we have talked about developing new destination cities to broaden the appeal of Formula 1. The Vietnamese Grand Prix is a realisation of that ambition.
Nguyen Duc Chung, Hanoi’s city chairman, revealed his pleasure with the developments, stating:
It’s a further demonstration of Vietnam’s ability, as one of the fastest growing economies in the world to host events on a global scale and attract tourism to the country.
A Promising Development for Hanoi
Hanoi is no stranger to tourism, with it being one of its main sources of capital. With over 5 million tourists flocking to the city in 2017, the city is well poised to take advantage of the attention and visits the race will bring.
Hanoi is often dubbed the ‘Paris of the East’ due to the French colonial influences visible in many walks of life. The introduction of the internationally renowned race could see a further boost to the economy and further place Hanoi on the map.
Furthermore, a ‘multi year’ deal has been agreed upon, meaning Hanoi could become a regular feature on the yearly calendar.
Recently Hanoi was ranked by TripAdvisor as the ‘most affordable international holiday destination’ which could see a huge boost in F1 popularity. Many decadent track locations such as Dubai and Monaco can alienate casual fans and deny them the opportunity to see the sport live.
With so many uncertainties currently plaguing Formula 1, such as tracks in England, Germany, and Brazil not yet renewing their contracts for 2019, Hanoi could prove an exciting addition to the calendar. Equally, it might yet become another nail in the coffin for a sport rapidly decreasing in income and viewership. In time we will see.