Vietnam Grand Prix likely in 2020
Vietnam is likely to find a place in Formula 1’s 2020 calendar. The circuit will be street-based in Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi.
Liberty Media, the F1 owner, has been focusing on expanding the calendar ever since they entered the Formula 1 scene. Other front-runners to host Grand Prix are Copenhagen and Miami. However, attempts to swarm the Miami streets seem to have stalled because of local opposition.
FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting has now confirmed that the site for the track has been identified, and has reached advanced stages of designing. He does not foresee any issues in conducting the Grand Prix in two years' time. Whiting has visited the proposed site, just before the Japanese Grand Prix.
The proposed circuit will come up to the west of Hanoi, about 12 kilometres away from the city centre. A section of the streets is yet to be built, where the paddock will be constructed. F1, though, did not yet confirm on any official signing for a race at this south-eastern nation. An official announcement is expected in November.
Some part of the track is yet to be constructed, which will become a road, once the circuit starts hosting races. In August this year, the Vietnamese government has disclosed its support for a street circuit at Hanoi. However, the government has sought investment from private businesses, rather than using the state budget to construct the infrastructure.
For Formula 1, Vietnam will make up for the departure of Malaysia. When the F1 cars line up on the grid at Hanoi, it would signify the first new race introduced by Liberty Media, F1’s commercial right holders.
It remains to be seen how F1 teams welcome the new venue, as some of them, particularly Red Bull boss Christian Horner, felt the present 21-race schedule has hit the saturation point.