About the Vietnam Grand Prix
The 2020 F1 Calendar brings us a brand new race in the shape of the Vietnam Grand Prix. Not only is the world of Motorsport looking forward to the event with great anticipation, the race also drops in another street circuit to our list and that can only add to the excitement.
As part of the early round of Grand Prix on the new schedule, many are not sure quite what to expect from the circuit in Hanoi so let’s try to fill you in on what we know so far.
The list of Formula One Grand Prix winners will fill up as the Vietnam GP continues from 2020 onwards. The current crop of drivers will all be looking to set new targets and landmarks on the Hanoi Street Circuit when it officially opens with its inaugural race.
In the meantime, it’s worth asking whether there is much of a history in terms of motorsport in Vietnam. The very short answer to that is no. While there is undoubted interest in the sport and excitement ahead of the country’s first Grand Prix, there’s been little in the way of events and competitions on four wheels so this is very much a case of new ground.
As with the previous section, the records in terms of fastest lap will start to fill up when that first edition of the Vietnam Grand Prix takes place in 2020. The fact that we are on a street circuit will make it more interesting as we may not see the usual drivers recording the fastest times when the Formula One teams arrive in Hanoi.
However, as we will see when we take a look at the circuit, this particular track is a little different to the ones that we’ve become accustomed to seeing in Monaco and Singapore. It’s a unique design so let’s just see how the Grand Prix develops and we’ll fill up this section as the years go by.
The next section will give you all you need to know about the design of this Hanoi track but there are some other interesting points to note. The designers have provided the circuit with a very short pit lane and it’s believed that more than one stop will be required. This will add a further tactical question that the teams will need to answer and it will be interesting to see what effect this will have.
This is the fourth Grand Prix to be held in Asia and the domestic organisers are determined to give racegoers a real flavour of Vietnam. Food festivals, puppet theatres and other forms of entertainment are in prospect and it will be an incredible occasion for those who are visiting.
Obviously, as this is a street circuit, a lot of the infrastructure associated with this Hanoi track was already in place. However, a lot of work had to be put in in order to get this up to Formula One Grand Prix standards and this was confirmed as completed in February 2020.
Among the notable points of this circuit is a very long straight at 1.5 kilometres. This is, in fact, one of the longest straights on any surface on the Grand Prix calendar so there is scope for opening up and overtaking while lifting those average speeds.
The track also has 22 turns and that number is more befitting a street circuit. Overall, the race circuit for 2020 will extend to 5,565 kilometres so it’s going to be a serious test of endurance. The designers have taken inspiration from some of the most iconic tracks in the world and there are nods to the Nurburgring and Monza. As such, some of the turns involved will be very familiar to dedicated F1 fans.
Overall, this is something of a hybrid that matches some of the classic elements of street racing with an added, purpose built track that mirrors standard F1 venues. In that sense, the design of the Hanoi Street Circuit is unique and it will be fascinating to see how the teams and the drivers adapt.
The official announcement confirming that Vietnam would hold its first ever Grand Prix came back in 2018. It’s part of F1’s ongoing commitment to bringing the sport to a wider audience and it’s fascinating to see the calendar extend to this part of the world.
At the time that news was confirmed, the governing body stated that this was to be a multi-year deal and we haven’t been able to identify the exact length of that contract. When the Dutch Grand Prix was added back to the F1 circuit in 2020, that was for an initial three years so it would be reasonable to assume that Vietnam might be for the same period. It would largely depend on how the event was received by drivers and audiences but we certainly hope it’s a great success and that it’s around for many years to come.