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Hanoi to host F1 race in 2020

Hanoi to host F1 race in 2020
November 1, 2018

The Vietnamese capital of Hanoi is to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix for the first time in 2020.

With the Malaysian Grand Prix last held in 2017, the Hanoi race will be the second South East Asian city to host a race in 2020 - along with Singapore.

Announcing the hosting of the race, on a circuit to be revealed next week, the Hanoi People's Committee released a statement “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."

Authorities said earlier this year they supported the idea of hosting a race, but would not source Government funds to pay for the event.

Vietnam’s Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung advised in August “if Hanoi hosts (a race), the budget should be from the private sector".

He added that advertising revenues from the event could be "huge" and potentially would cover the cost of the event.

Officials had originally considered hosting the race around Hanoi's scenic Hoan Kiem lake near the bustling Old Quarter, but have reportedly now decided to host it near the national stadium where the roads are wider than in town.

F1 Race Director Charlie Whiting told reporters last 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, according to Fox Sports, advising "that shouldn't be a problem based on previous experience.”

Formula One races can be costly endeavours and are seen as financially risky for host cities like Hanoi where racing remains outside of the mainstream.

Though informal - and illegal - motorbike street racing, and a nascent offroad racing scene have started to gain traction in Vietnam in recent years, Formula One has yet to take hold among the mainstream of sports fans, in the football obsessed nation.

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