F1 could add Vietnam to 2020 calendar
Formula 1’s calendar could see the inclusion of the first ever Vietnamese Grand Prix for the 2020 season.
Talk of a new race in Vietnam first emerged while former supremo Bernie Ecclestone was at the helm of the sport, however, he elected not to pursue the event as he felt the region already had enough races.
At that time F1 had events in Japan, China, Singapore, and Malaysia, though the latter hosted its final event last year.
With Liberty Media having taken over control of the sport at the start of the 2017 season, Vietnam is back on the agenda with F1 race director Charlie Whiting having visited the proposed site near Hanoi.
Speaking over the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, Whiting claimed the event could be ready for 2020.
“It’s in the advanced stages of design,” he revealed.
“As far as I’m aware, they’re aiming for a 2020 grand prix, which shouldn’t be a problem based on previous experience.
“It’s an open site where the pit building’s going to be built,” he added.
“Part of the track will be built there which doesn’t exist at the moment. But it will become a road, I understand, after that.”
Previously, F1’s commercial boss Sean Bratches has hinted that there could be two new races in Asia.
“I’m spending a lot of time reaching out proactively to cities,” Sean Bratches told AFP last August.
“We are very focused on bringing additional grands prix to the continent here,” he added.
“We’re in talks with a couple of cities to that end. We think there is a lot of vibrancy to having a few more street races to the calendar.”
F1 released a draft 21-event calendar for the 2019 season in August, which is set to begin in Australia on March 17.
It includes the British Grand Prix, which is set to host its final race at Silverstone after the British Racing Drivers’ Club exercised a clause in its contract after suffering a series of heavy financial losses in recent years.