Vietnamese Grand Prix dropped from F1 schedule next season

By Hoang Nguyen   November 10, 2020 | 05:48 am PT
Vietnamese Grand Prix dropped from F1 schedule next season
The 3D draw of Hanoi Street Circuit, the first F1 racetrack in Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Grand Prix.
The much awaited Vietnamese Grand Prix is absent from the provisional calendar for the 2021 F1 season, which features 22 races.

The first ever F1 race in Vietnam was expected to take place in May next year after being postponed this year on account of the Covid-19 pandemic, but now, it has been scrapped from the provisional calendar.

Vietnam’s absence from the schedule will leave a gap between the Chinese Grand Prix on April 11 and the Spanish Grand Prix on May 9.

However, F1 organizers still hope that they can have 23 races if they can find a replacement for the Vietnamese Grand Prix. No official announcement was available on the reasons for Vietnam’s absence and the search for an alternative venue.

The very first F1 race in Vietnam was originally scheduled to be held on the newly built Hanoi Street Circuit in April this year.

In early July, with the pandemic contained in Vietnam, Hanoi authorities had mentioned the possibility of holding the event in November.

However, a second Covid-19 outbreak hit the country later the same month. This prompted organizers to cancel the Vietnamese Grand Prix and remove it from this year’s schedule.

Since the latest season began in July, F1 races have been held mostly in Europe, some in venues not included in the original 22-race schedule for 2020. The first 10 races of the year were called off over the pandemic, with only nine events from the original calendar were rescheduled.

Track completed

Construction of the Hanoi Street Circuit, a temporary track next to the My Dinh National Stadium, was finished earlier this year. However, because of the long postponement of the race, some mobile constructions of the track have been uninstalled to make space for other activities.

The F1 racetrack in Vietnam was to be the fourth combining both built tracks and city streets after Monaco, Singapore and Azerbaijan.

Vietnam was to be the third Southeast Asian country to host a F1 race, following Malaysia and Singapore, with Hanoi signing a 10-year contract to host the race, starting this year.

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