Hanoi proposes Formula One racing in national sports complex

By Vo Hai, Hoai Thu   August 30, 2018 | 07:40 pm PT
Hanoi proposes Formula One racing in national sports complex
An F1 race car runs in HCMC in May 2018. Photo by Bao Lam
Hanoi has received the central government’s backing for the My Dinh Sports Complex to host Formula One races.

The sports complex was suggested as an alternative after an initial proposal to the F1 races around the famous Hoan Kiem Lake in the heart of the city was rejected.

Minister and Chairman of the Government Office, Mai Tien Dung, confirmed the government's support for Hanoi's plan to host the race at a press conference on Thursday.

Dung said that upon receiving Hanoi's proposal, the prime minister had tasked the ministries of culture, planning and other agencies with evaluating the event's impacts and gathering opinions of residents living around the planned race track.

"The city initially planned to host the race around the Sword Lake and nearby roads. The ministries however found it unsuitable, and the organizer also found that it did not meet their requirements," Dung said.

"Recently Hanoi in its report has proposed hosting the race at the My Dinh Sports Complex."

The sports complex around the My Dinh National Stadium in western Hanoi's Nam Tu Liem District already has suitable infrastructure and routes for hosting such races, so investment would only be required for the roads' surface and median strips, Dung said.

"The F1 race has attracted many people's attention, many countries have successfully hosted it and when Hanoi consulted the residents living in the area the race is to be hosted, the approval rate was high," he said, adding that hosting an F1 race would give Vietnam another opportunity to attract foreign visitors and promote the country's image.

However, negotiations are still continuing with Formula One organizers and details of the race are yet to be discussed. The prime minister has asked that Hanoi uses only private funds to host the race.

The FIA Formula One World Championship, or Formula One, is an international single-seater auto racing competition sanctioned by the International Automobile Federation (FIA). It has been one of the most popular forms of racing around the world since its inaugural season in 1950.

Each season of Formula One consists of a series of races held worldwide on purpose-built circuits as well as public roads. Out of the 21 races in this year's season, six will be hosted in Asia - Bahrain, China, Japan, Macau, Malaysia and Singapore.

This isn’t the first time discussions have been held to bring the single-seater auto race to Vietnam. Last year, Hanoi authorities had already said that the city is negotiating with different parties about bringing the race here.

Formula One is excited by the possibility of a race in Vietnam as part of an expansion in Asia, but Europe remains the bedrock of the sport, Reuters quoted chief executive Chase Carey as saying in June.

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