Vietnam gives go-ahead to Formula One street race

South East Asian country’s government offers support for Hanoi Grand Prix plans.

Vietnam gives go-ahead to Formula One street race

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The Vietnamese government has given the green light to Formula One’s plans to stage a race on the streets of Hanoi.

Reports that the global motorsport series was looking at Vietnam’s capital as a potential destination first surfaced in January this year, and the championship’s chief executive Chase Carey admitted in June that he was excited by the possibility of staging a Grand Prix there. 

Carey, who succeeded Bernie Ecclestone following Liberty Media’s Formula One takeover, also said the series was in discussion with Vietnamese authorities, and it would now appear that the local government is fully behind the proposal. 

"All (government) ministries and agencies support the idea to create a new attraction for Hanoi," Mai Tien Dung, chief of the government office, said in a statement.

"Hanoi authorities have asked people living in the planned area for their opinions about holding the race and they have all shown their support, to attract tourists.”

Dung did not reveal when a final deal might be signed with Formula One, or when the first race in the country would be held.

He did add, however, that Vietnam prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has told Hanoi not to use state budget for building infrastructure for the race, but to seek investment from businesses instead.

Vietnam is one of several new Formula One host countries mooted since Liberty acquired the series, with a Grand Prix in Miami expected to be introduced in 2020, while plans for future races in Argentina, the Netherlands and Denmark have also been rumoured.