F1 is going up a gear as it adds another racetrack to its calendar. The latest addition, the Vietnamese Grand Prix, is set to happen in the city of Hanoi in 2020.
The racetrack is set to be a 5.565-kilometre long street circuit that will run alongside the My Dinh National Stadium in Western Hanoi. The racetrack will feature a newly constructed section as well as a 1.5-kilometre long straight. Preliminary simulations indicate that F1 cars could reach a possible top speed of 335 km/h on some parts of the track.
It is the first new addition to F1 since Liberty Media replaced Bernie Ecclestone as F1’s commercial rights holder. F1 chief executive Chase Carey said that this landmark is just the beginning in terms of their long-term plans to expand. Carey went on to state that the organization is thrilled to be in a city as rich in history as Hanoi.
The launch party was held in central Hanoi’s Thang Long Imperial Citadel and was attended by former F1 driver David Coulthard. This isn’t the first time Coulthard has been in Vietnam in recent years. Last year, he attended an event in Ho Chi Minh City in April, when F1 and Heineken organized a publicity event. The event was to celebrate the Dutch brewing company’s expansion into the Southeast Asian market.
All out local support
The Grand Prix is set to be hosted by Viet conglomerate Vingroup JSC. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said in a statement that “this is an important event not only in the field of sport but also in culture and society, contributing to the development of Vietnam.”
Moreover, Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung said that the event is a testament to the city’s ability to host global events. He further added that it is a great opportunity to provide inward investment to the country.
These are all part of F1’s continuing attempt to expand into new markets. After Singapore, Azerbaijan and Abu Dhabi expressed interest in making F1 an integral part of their respective tourism campaigns. F1 is also pursuing expansions into Copenhagen and Buenos Aires. Another territory, which F1 is looking to get into is the United States, as Liberty Media aims to penetrate big city markets such as New York, Las Vegas, and Miami.
Conquering the largest continent one country at a time
At the moment though, fan interest in F1 is picking up in Asia. This translates to more interest in other related industries such as domestic car manufacturing and the regional betting scene. In light of F1’s entry, Vingroup’s Vinfast unit is now gearing up to become the country’s first domestic car manufacturer.
This is expected to breathe new life into Vietnam’s local automotive industry, and may also affect local betting laws on car racing. F1 bosses had actually planned to build a track in Ho Chi Minh City, but pulled out due to strict rules against betting on sports events. Laws like the Decree No.03/2017/ND-CP, AKA Casino Decree, cover all facets of gaming in the country, which even include online versions. The live dealer scene in Vietnam was covered by an article on ExpatBets, and they mention that although local operators are banned in the country, people usually play through online platforms. Only a few types of pari-mutuel betting are allowed, including some forms of horse racing. As of this moment, motorsport is yet to be added, but with an F1 race set to be staged in the country in 2020, the likelihood it that motorsport-related enterprises will flourish in the coming years, and that could include relaxing the laws on sports betting.
Feel free to check out some fun facts about F1 in another previous post. Follow us on social media to remain updated on all things motorsport.