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Branching out: Vietnam joins F1 calendar for 2020
Posted By: Editor   |  07 Nov 2018   |  5:53 pm GMT  |  55 comments

Formula One’s owners Liberty Media have confirmed that the Vietnam Grand Prix will be added to the calendar, starting from 2020.

As the sport looks to expand and increase it’s international audience, the capital city of Hanoi will play host to the inaugural Vietnamese Formula One race. The 22-turn, 5.565km street circuit which will become the fourth Asian race on the calendar, adding to Japan, Singapore and China.

The Vingroup-backed “multi-year deal” is the first new race to be announced by Liberty Media since their acquisition of the the sport at the end of 2016.

The circuit features sections inspired from Suzuka, the Sepang International Circuit, Monaco and the Nurburgring, and includes a 1.5km straight.

Formula One Media

“We are delighted to announce that Hanoi will host a Formula 1 Grand Prix,” said chairman and chief executive of Formula One Chase Carey.

“Since we became involved in this sport in 2017, we have talked about developing new destination cities to broaden the appeal of Formula 1 and the Vietnamese Grand Prix is a realisation of that ambition. We are thrilled to be here in Hanoi, one of the most exciting cities in the world right now with such a rich history and an incredible future ahead of it. This is the perfect formula for Grand Prix racing and I look forward to this becoming a real highlight of the F1 calendar.

“Our Motorsport team, working in collaboration with the City of Hanoi and promoter Vingroup, has worked to enable a circuit that will not only test the drivers but also ensure that our fans enjoy the racing spectacle. We are really looking forward to seeing Formula 1 cars speeding around the streets of this fantastic city from 2020.”


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The promoters of the race, Vingroup, are a conglomerate whose subsidiary businesses are in a variety of sectors including real estate, retail and automotive (VinFast, who plan to start production of their road cars in 2019).

Nguyen Viet Quang, Vice Chairman and CEO, Vingroup, Promoter said: “We are excited to see that our work with Formula 1 to secure this deal has finally come to fruition. An essential part of this collaboration has been making sure that we not only showcase the city of Hanoi but also deliver an exciting race for Formula 1 fans in Vietnam and around the world.

“With the mission of “a better life for Vietnamese people”, Vingroup wants to bring this race to Vietnam because of the general benefits to the society such as more jobs will be created, the infrastructure of Hanoi will be upgraded, and other bigger worldwide events will be encouraged to take place in Vietnam. For Vingroup individually, through the F1 racing event, we are going to proclaim the first Vietnamese car manufacturer, VinFast, to millions of audiences in the world.”

It remains to be seen if the addition of Vietnam warrants the removal of an existing event on the calendar. The 2019 season will remain at 21 races, but teams have resisted the idea of more races being added to the schedule.

By: Luke Murphy

All images: Motorsport Images

What do you think of the Hanoi Circuit? Leave your thoughts in the section below.

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For all the talk of the FIA / owners wanting to make F1 less expensive for teams they go and agree to a new venue which then looks likely to potentially increase the overall number of F1 races – more expense to teams in paying the logistics of another venue to attend. This on the back of talk of a 25 race season. I know teams are resisting extending the race season, however, at the end of the day the y will fall in line. Also again it is all about increasing revenue to the owners and not making the sport more accessible (and cheaper to attend) to the current fanbase – Vietnam a veritable hot bed of F1 supporters!!!! Too much F1 and it will start to lose its appeal due to overkill.


Vietnam is a great country and I don’t think the race will be as bad as Korea or India. Vietnam is a rapidly developing country but the majority of population is still quite poor. I do question the location of Hanoi though, Yes its the capital and it has admittedly been a few years since I was there, but it was in my opinion far less developed than Saigon, the people and attitudes are more old school communist than in the south (the people are all lovely but the old north south divide still exists in the form of peoples attitudes). It’s also harder to get to.

However I am not looking forward to the prospect yet another street circuit, and what will it replace? Yet again it seems to the “progress” without any consideration for the quality of the racing. We go on about how the cars cannot follow each other and cannot overtake, well they can on some tracks. So I say best of luck to them but I can’t help feeling this is just Liberty picking up where Bernie left off.


How can you bring a load of city streets upto F1 standard in a few days but not do the same makeover to Brands Hatch or any other historic circuit ? There seems to be one hell of a double standard going on from the FIA when it comes to staging an F1 race, and this is being used to force us into «  destination » events rather than decent track races.


“…which will become the fourth Asian race on the calendar, adding to Japan, Singapore and China.”

Last time I checked Azerbaijan was in Asia as well.
Unless by 2020 they became part of Europe by some kind of agreement, Hanoi will be fifth Asian venue.


I’m pretty sure that Azerbaijan is officially classified as Europe, although geographically it might might be classified as middle-east Asia.

Not that geography matters these days since Israel was allowed to take part in Eurovision.



Wikipedia and this other link both beg to differ. 🙂
And they are first two links out of may I just checked.

I know it really doesn’t matter, but I posted my comment only for the correctness of the article sake.
You’re right about Israel. Why and how are they allowed to compete at European championships, be it Eurovision, basketball, or whatever, is beyond me. I’m sure, there’s some high stake politics involved.


Azerbaijan is a part of the council of Europe, so politically at least it might consider itself European.

But I agree that form a purely geographical perspective it’s a bit iffy to say that Azerbaijan is a European country.


Jeez, that video is truly awful. Enough to give anyone a headache. No idea who that is targeted at either.

Vietnam is hardly the top level city venue I expected. Famous landmarks and a bumpy, no run off track would be good for raving perhaps. Wow I’d love one in Paris, Arc de Triomphe, Champes elleyses, place de la Concorde, grand Palais, Louvre, river Seine, Effiel Tower, etc and wide boulevards all in the right sort of acreage for a track.

Losing Brazil will be terrible Liberty – look at the atmosphere there. The long term plans should be coming together soon, and for the first time I am worried that their grand plans will be watered down to more of the same due to manufacturer dominance.


Sorry but I’m finding it hard to get excited about another potentially mickey mouse street circuit. And I’m surprised at the closing statement about the removal of an existing event. Surely you guys are aware we’re about to lose Brazil? Don’t think there is any mention of this on here and personally I think that’s pretty big news.

Yet another classic circuit lost to make way for a street circuit in order for marketing folk to “branch out into new sectors”. And please, “based on Suzuka, Sepang, Monaco and the ‘Ring?” They just followed the streets they had available and then thought “ooh it kinda looks like…”

There seems to be some overtaking oportunities but that remains to be seen.

Losing Brazil for this isn’t good at all.

How long before we lose Monza? Spa? Suzuka? Barcelona? Canada? Silverstone is already looking like it’s game over. Then what do we have left?

Sorry to rant but I’m extremely worried about where things are headed now our sport is in the hands of marketing men. There seems to be a few interesting parts of the track but mostly it looks like something some spotty angsty teen would play on his playstation.

And my god that promo video is pretty horrific. They seem to be more and more chasing fickle children as their fan base. It’s such a short sighted view but I’m guessing they know that and are happy with the money it will bring them in the short term. But those viewers are only ever going to have a passing interest before they move on to the next thing.


Totally agree.

Brazil is a cracking track, natural bowl, the Brands Hatch of South America. It has provided some great races and I’d be tempted to group it in with Spa, Silverstone, Monza, Suzuka because of that.


“The Brands Hatch of South America”

LIKE that!


Totally agree with you adding it into that group too. But Silverstone is almost game over. Spa has been very on the edge for years too.

Brazil is going to be yet another very sad loss for the sport. And yet another classic track replaced with something no where near as good.

Again, all in the name of marketing. They’re not getting enough money out of Brazil so now they’ve bled it dry, they’re moving on.

So far, all Liberty seem to have done is make bad decisions and add a sickly amount of cheese. NOT impressed!


I. Just. Don’t. Care.


Pergayits time to dump Brazil? It looks like a dump anyway and There’s tge security issues around the race. A Dutch Grand Prix would awesome and I like the look of the Vietnam GP circuit. When will Liberty/FIA stop trying to make the US GP work they’re just not interested in F1. Silverstone I think is 90% safe but the BRDC have been clowns in running the GP. It’s probably the best attended race in Europe and F1 must make a chunk of money out of it. Shame that Donnington nor Brands have had any investment to bring them up to F1 standards but I bet Liberty are looking at a London GP as of course the whole of the U.K has to defer to the cesspit that is our capital.


Just imagine if this ends up taking the place of one the well supported traditional European races. Having never been to Vietnam I’m going to make a sweeping generalisation now…..most Vietnamese won’t be able to afford to go and we’ll have a lovely circuit with lots of shiny empty seats.

If Liberty want to engage with the fans then stop awarding Grand Prix to places where they’ll be no fans at the Grand Prix.


My thoughts?

First & foremost, scrap that bloody video & fire the idiot that said to produce it.

The Circuit map is not a good representation. It is vague at best, & difficult to see much detail.

What is visible does peak some interest, but apart from the Suzuka esses near the start/finish & the Sepang style straight – hairpin – staight on the right hand view, I fail to see Monaco & Nurburgring, unless Liberty mean tight, no room to pass Monaco & the massive straight from the Nordschleife.

It reminds me more of China & Korea.

From what I can see, I hope it runs clockwise, because a simple block pass will do at the Sepang hairpin, like in China, but it will be more interesting to see cars side by side at the left hand roundabout, trying to out brake each other through an S bend.

So despite my gripe, I say bring it on, because at least street tracks show a drivers bravery & precision, & punish those that confuse ambition & ability.

……….but seriously, dump that video.


I think the track layout looks quite good. Long straight into tight corner works quite well in the DRS-era. Also hopefully a street circuit design ensures there’s no stupid car-park sized run-off areas…

Problem is though… is anyone going to turn up? Will it last? And what circuit is getting dropped?




I see this going the way of the Korean and Indian GP.

No offence to the Vietnamese people.


Interesting to see if the track layout and straights provide decent overtaking opportunities.

Cheesy Americanised promo video, especially the Vet crash, steering wheel punches and Toto wink with accompanying ‘ting’ sound…eeeeurgh! Did avelli have a hand in creating it…

Plus the teleporting Merc at the start when viewed from above – the FIA need to look into that.

Finally, was that a pretty Vietnamese grid girl in the middle of the video. Double standards Liberty?!? If not, what’s the difference between that and cheerleaders and grid girls like the banned Austrian girls in national dresses?

Man, with VinGroup and car manufacturer VinFast, that’s surely advertising money on a plate for Vin Diesel’s agents to jump at…


Don’t worry about overtaking. With the new and improved DRS effect the cars will be flying over the tops of each other.


Vietnam is more or less where South Korea was 20/30 years ago. We had a race in South Korea and then it failed and nobody is missing it either, because the location was a swamp.
I have been to Saigon 8 years ago and at another place on the beach.
Beautiful nature and very fascinating people.
In Hanoi and Saigon they have been building a lot of modern high rise lately. Entire neighbours have completely changed, but they are not where they should be yet. Vietnam two most important cities, in matter of development and urbanization are not at the same level of Bangkok for example, which has became a full modern almost completely developed city. Although non of them are even close to look like a modern city of the level of Singapore or Hong Kong.
Maybe is a little too early for Hanoi.


Hong Kong is probably the worst place to have a motor race – the government is turning communist and the local authorities know F-all about motorsports and think it’ll promote reckless driving on public roads.


TBH, I’m enjoying the layout. Lots of straights with a decent variety of corners. Don’t knock it, till you try it people.


Interesting, but strange looking track🤔.

Not a big fan of street circuits, but Hanoi looks very retro 50”s.

Can’t wait to see it finished. Maybe it can replace Sochi😏


It will replace Silverstone.


Street circuits are always welcome in my onion. And this looks like it might be a decent circuit, unless they surround it with aircraft runway runoffs that never punish even monumental mistakes.


There are more boring races on the current calender than those which are exciting. I guess, it would be a short meeting to replace one them with Vietnam.



If only that were the criterion.



I think a calendar removal will happen by itself. There are at least 5 races that have their contract up to renewal after next year (Abu Dhabi is unclear): Barcelona, Silverstone, Hockenheim, Monza, Mexico. While issues with Silverstone, Hockenheim and Monza are well documented in the media, we should not underestimate the risk of losing Barcelona (lower attendance after Alonso’s retirement + Catalunya – Spain political issues) or Mexico (race is a success but requires the blessing of the newly elected president, which is not guaranteed). There are rumors there could be a Dutch GP as well but nothing seems finalized yet.


I love how they go to these places with virtually no interest in motorsport.

Get Imola back on the calendar!!


So half the track no overtaking and the other half you can. Well at least thats something. I hope they hold it in July as highest annual temps and rain fall that month.


Another street race… yawn.


Looks a bit like Paul Ricard with Avus stuck on the end, hopefully those two long straights will force the teams to use Monza wing levels.

21 races? Not bad for a sport in terminal decline…….


The circuit schematic does look decent but it’ll be another race people don’t turn up on mass at. Liberty haven’t learned from Bernie’s mistakes when looking at new races. Meanwhile they are threatening to leave the British GP out in the cold. Ludicrous.


Good Morning Vietnam!!!!

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