Motor racing: Vietnam to host Formula One street race from 2020, organisers confirm


The future racing map for Vietnam's Formula One Grand Prix in Hanoi in 2020, displayed during a press conference on Nov 7, 2018.
PHOTO: EPA-EFE

(REUTERS) - Vietnam will join the Formula One calendar in 2020 with a street race in the capital city Hanoi, the organisers said on Wednesday (Nov 7).

The Vietnamese Grand Prix is the first new race announced since Liberty Media took charge last year.

"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," F1 chairman Chase Carey said in a statement.

"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 inaugural race will be staged in April 2020, with the organisers signing a multi-year deal to become the fourth East Asian country on the calendar with Singapore, China and Japan.

The Hanoi round of the championship, which will be run on a 5.565km circuit, will be the fourth street race on the calendar along with Monaco, Singapore and Azerbaijan.

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.

Vietnam is a growing market for sponsors such as brewer Heineken and would be give East Asia four races on the calendar again after the departure of Malaysia after its final edition in 2017.

While the country does not have much of a tradition of motor sports, 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.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.