Viet­nam to host For­mula One race in Hanoi from 2020

Gulf Times Sport - - SPORT -

Viet­nam will host a For­mula One grand prix for the first time in 2020 with a street race in the cap­i­tal Hanoi, or­gan­is­ers said yes­ter­day.

The Viet­namese Grand Prix is the first en­tirely new ad­di­tion to the cal­en­dar since US-based Lib­erty Me­dia took over as com­mer­cial rights hold­ers last year and re­placed for­mer deal­maker and supremo Bernie Ec­cle­stone.

“We are de­lighted to an­nounce that Hanoi will host a For­mula One Grand Prix,” the sport’s chair­man Chase Carey said in a state­ment.

“Since we be­came in­volved in this sport in 2017, we have talked about de­vel­op­ing new des­ti­na­tion cities to broaden the ap­peal of For­mula One 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.”

The South-East Asian coun­try is a grow­ing mar­ket for spon­sors such as brewer Heineken and will give the re­gion four races on the cal­en­dar again after the de­par­ture of Malaysia last year.

The oth­ers are China, Sin­ga­pore and Ja­pan.

Ec­cle­stone told Reuters last year that he had talks with the Viet­namese about a race while he was in charge but had de­cided, de­spite the money on of­fer, against it be­cause he felt there were enough in that part of the world al­ready.

Yes­ter­day’s an­nounce­ment was marked with a launch party held in­side the cen­turies-old walls of cen­tral Hanoi’s Thang Long citadel and fea­tur­ing elec­tronic mu­sic and tra­di­tional dance and drum­ming.

Re­tired Bri­tish F1 driver David Coulthard also at­tended with a Red Bull demon­stra­tion car.

Viet­namese prime min­is­ter Nguyen Xuan Phuc had met Carey ear­lier.

“This is an im­por­tant event not only in the field of sport but also in cul­ture and so­ci­ety, con­tribut­ing to the de­vel­op­ment of Viet­nam,” Phuc said in a govern­ment state­ment.

Viet­nam’s largest con­glom­er­ate, Vin­group JSC, has signed a “multi-year deal” to host the event, the For­mula One press re­lease said, with­out elab­o­rat­ing.

VinFast, a unit of Vin­group, is set to be­come Viet­nam’s first fully-fledged do­mes­tic car man­u­fac­turer when its first pro­duc­tion mod­els built un­der its own badge hit the streets next Au­gust.

The Hanoi race will be run on a 5.565-km lay­out in the west of the city, adding an­other street race to the ex­ist­ing ones in Monaco, Sin­ga­pore, Azer­bai­jan and Mel­bourne’s Al­bert Park in Aus­tralia.

Chair­man of the Hanoi Peo­ple’s Com­mit­tee Nguyen Duc Chung said the race would re­flect Viet­nam’s abil­ity to hold global events.

“It pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity for in­ward in­vest­ment to Viet­nam and im­por­tantly to bring the ex­cit­ing wheel-to-wheel rac­ing of For­mula One to the peo­ple of Viet­nam,” he said.

While the coun­try does not have much of a tra­di­tion of mo­tor­sports, sport­ing events or com­pe­ti­tions in which the na­tional team does even marginally well are widely watched and pas­sion­ately cel­e­brated.

There will again be 21 races on the 2019 cal­en­dar, with the same races as this year re­tain­ing their places.


Mod­els in tra­di­tional dresses walk in front of a Red Bull F1 car on stage dur­ing a cer­e­mony in Hanoi, Viet­nam, yes­ter­day.

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