HANOI, 24 November 2020: The Covid-19 pandemic scuttled the hosting of inaugural Vietnam F1 Grand Prix earlier this year, and last week the organisers of the F1 world series reaffirmed Hanoi was not on the list of venues for 2021.
The popular F1 Fansite website noted that with the new Vietnam GP no longer scheduled for 2021, Formula 1 organisers have a vacancy slot to be confirmed later.
The vacant slot prompted speculation with one Match TV commentator saying there was talk of introducing a race at Sepang in Malaysia or Istanbul.
Sepang was the venue of the popular Malaysian GP when it joined the Formula One World Championship in 1999. Malaysia decided not to renew the contract when it expired in 2017, citing rising costs and limited returns.
But back in late 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, the then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir MohamadDr Mahathir hinted the F1 race could return possibly in 2021.
The Edge news channel revived the story thread in a report several months after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Covid-19 a public health emergency. It highlighted a Dr Mahathir quote made during an address to the American Malaysia Chamber of Commerce when he quipped “we believe that the interest in the Grand Prix is still very big, and we want to bring the race back here.”
(Source: F1 Fansite and the Edge)