Formula One bosses considering Vietnam Grand Prix: report

By Vi Vu   July 31, 2017 | 08:57 pm PT
Formula One bosses considering Vietnam Grand Prix: report
Formula One racers twisting through a course at a grand prix in Sochi, Russia. Photo by Reuters
A new venue in Asia could be on track as the superstar spectacle revs up for regional market.

Formula 1 officials are looking at the possibility of adding Vietnam to its schedule as a replacement for Malaysia, which will end a 19-year relationship with the sport next year, The Sun reported.

The report said that the American Liberty Media Corporation, which owns the racing company, and F1 Chief Executive Chase Carey are both open to the new market.

F1, officially known as the FIA Formula One World Championship, currently holds races in China, Malaysia and Singapore each season.

The 2017 season has 20 races that started in Australia in March and end in Abu Dhabi in November.

Several sponsors are keen to increase their market share in Asia-Pacific, and with Malaysia leaving the track after 19 years, there’s space for a replacement.

Vietnam opened its first professional racetrack for cars and motorcycles in Long An Province, around 30 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City, last year, but the circuit currently does not meet all the requirements set out for the sport.

Former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone told The Sun that he was offered the opportunity to meet Vietnam’s president last year to discuss holding a race in Vietnam, but he turned it down.

He said the country had no “racing history”, which is true if he was referring to official car and motorbike races.

Nevertheless, the country has a big interest in racing and many F1 fans travel to Malaysia to watch the spectacle live.

A new government decree in February legalized betting on horse and greyhound races, and investment has been pouring into new tracks.

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