Hanoi snags super sports event

HANOI, 9 November 2018: Keen to show it can host mega events, Vietnam has snapped up an opportunity to host a Formula 1 grand prix for the first time in April 2020.

Vietnam has signed a 10-year deal to stage a street race through the capital of Hanoi.

Vietnam is the third Southeast Asian nation to jump on the Formula 1 bandwagon following Singapore and Malaysia, with the latter dropping out after the 2017 race.

The investment is huge, but Vietnam like Singapore is keen to showcase its ability to host mega global events that will raise awareness for its booming tourism industry.

Including Hanoi in the World Series was the first “new addition to the calendar under Liberty Media’s ownership of the sport,” keen to broaden the appeal of Formula 1.

The proposed Hanoi track, which features 22 turns over its 5.565km length, will become F1’s fourth street race, alongside Monaco, Singapore and Azerbaijan.

Commenting on bringing the famous race series to Vietnam Hanoi chairman Nguyen Duc Chung said: “It demonstrates 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.”

According to a BBC analysis the race in Vietnam “is part of F1’s bid to expand interest in the sport. It effectively returns an event to Southeast Asia that was lost when Malaysia ended its contract last year, but does so in a new location and iconic city – albeit some distance from its beautiful, historic centre.”

F1 organisers signed a multi-year deal with Vingroup, which is funding the entire project without government support.

Formula 1 has 21 races listed on a tentative calendar for 2019. The 2018 season has two remaining races in Sao Paulo and Abu Dhabi.

(Source: BBC, AFP, VNA)