First Formula 1 race in Hanoi starts with 2020 season

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Vietnam’s capital Hanoi will start hosting Formula 1 races by April 2020, the Hanoi People’s Committee said on November 1 in a statement. That way, Vietnam is becoming the third Southeast Asian nation – after Singapore and Malaysia – to welcome the F1 racing circus as the franchise seeks to move into new markets.

The circuit set to be unveiled at a gala next week.

“The city of Hanoi managed to conclude the cooperation to be entitled as the official host of a race of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship (from) April 2020,” the announcement read.

Mai Tien Dung, head of the government office, said in August that he hoped costs could be covered by potentially “huge” advertising revenues rather than from public coffers.

Officials had originally considered hosting the race around Hanoi’s scenic Hoan Kiem lake near the bustling Old Quarter, but decided instead on a route near the national stadium, where the roads are wider. It is understood that the race will be a night race.

F1 race director Charlie Whiting told reporters earlier this month that he had visited the site in Hanoi and was confident the circuit would be ready in time for the 2020 season. He said much of the race would be on existing roads but some sections would need to be built.

However, critics say that Formula 1 races can happen to be costly endeavours and are seen as financially risky for host cities like Hanoi where racing remains outside of the mainstream. In 2017, Malaysia said it would cancel the Formula 1 races that it has hosted since 1999, saying the loss-making event had been hard hit by competition from neighbouring Singapore.

But organisers for the Hanoi race are pinning hopes that a mushrooming middle class in Southeast Asia, home to some of Asia’s fastest growing economies, will embrace sports like racing that have taken off in richer nations.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Vietnam’s capital Hanoi will start hosting Formula 1 races by April 2020, the Hanoi People’s Committee said on November 1 in a statement. That way, Vietnam is becoming the third Southeast Asian nation – after Singapore and Malaysia – to welcome the F1 racing circus as the franchise seeks to move into new markets.

The circuit set to be unveiled at a gala next week.

“The city of Hanoi managed to conclude the cooperation to be entitled as the official host of a race of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship (from) April 2020,” the announcement read.

Mai Tien Dung, head of the government office, said in August that he hoped costs could be covered by potentially “huge” advertising revenues rather than from public coffers.

Officials had originally considered hosting the race around Hanoi’s scenic Hoan Kiem lake near the bustling Old Quarter, but decided instead on a route near the national stadium, where the roads are wider. It is understood that the race will be a night race.

F1 race director Charlie Whiting told reporters earlier this month that he had visited the site in Hanoi and was confident the circuit would be ready in time for the 2020 season. He said much of the race would be on existing roads but some sections would need to be built.

However, critics say that Formula 1 races can happen to be costly endeavours and are seen as financially risky for host cities like Hanoi where racing remains outside of the mainstream. In 2017, Malaysia said it would cancel the Formula 1 races that it has hosted since 1999, saying the loss-making event had been hard hit by competition from neighbouring Singapore.

But organisers for the Hanoi race are pinning hopes that a mushrooming middle class in Southeast Asia, home to some of Asia’s fastest growing economies, will embrace sports like racing that have taken off in richer nations.

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