F1 confirms Vietnam Grand Prix from 2020
5:01 AM ET
- Laurence EdmondsonF1 Editor Close
- â¢ Joined ESPN in 2009
â¢ An FIA accredited F1 journalist since 2011
Formula One has confirmed Vietnam will host its first grand prix in April 2020, with the race set to be held in the country's capital city Hanoi.
The 5.565km circuit is located 12km west of the city's centre near the My Dinh National Stadium. It will be a street circuit with purpose-built sections and a newly constructed pit and paddock complex.
The circuit is described by Formula One as a "unique hybrid layout" with "a real desire to steer away from humdrum 90-degree road-junction type corners and foster a layout that facilitates wheel-to-wheel racing while retaining a closed-in street feel that makes city race tracks so demanding for drivers".
A layout of the Hermann Tilke-designed track was published by Formula One, which said the opening corners are based on Turns 1 and 2 at the Nurburgring while other sections take inspiration from Monaco, Suzuka and Malaysia's Sepang circuit. There is also a 1.5km straight, which will see cars top out at 335km/h before a heavy braking zone.
FIA race director Charlie Whiting visited the site of the new track last month to approve the promoter's final plans before work got underway. Asked to describe the layout, he said: "It's mainly on the streets, and there's a section which is not yet built. So, it's [currently] an open site where the pit building's going to be built. 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."
The race is backed by Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup, which specialises in real estate bu t has recently launched the first Vietnamese car manufacturer VinFast. The company is controlled by Pháº¡m Nháºt VÆ°á»£ng who became Vietnam's first billionaire off the back of Vingroup's success in real estate.
After plans to hold a grand prix in Miami were indefinitely postponed earlier this year, the race in Vietnam is the first to be secured under Liberty Media's ownership of F1. A press release said the announcement "represents Formula One's firm commitment to the Asia region".
F1 CEO Chase Carey added: "We are delighted to announce that Hanoi will host a Formula 1 Grand Prix. Since we became involved in this sport in 2017, we have talked about developing new destination cities to broaden the appeal of Formula One and the Vietnamese Grand Prix is a realisation of that ambition. We are thrilled to be here in Hanoi, one of the most exciting cities in the world right now with such a rich history and an incredible future ahead of it.< /p>
"This is the perfect formula for Grand Prix racing and I look forward to this becoming a real highlight of the F1 calendar. Our Motosport team, working in collaboration with the City of Hanoi and promoter Vingroup, has worked to enable a circuit that will not only test the drivers but also ensure that our fans enjoy the racing spectacle. We are really looking forward to seeing Formula 1 cars speeding around the streets of this fantastic city from 2020."
Nguyen Viet Quang, Vice Chairman and CEO, Vingroup added: "We are excited to see that our work with Formula 1 to secure this deal has finally come to fruition. An essential part of this collaboration has been making sure that we not only showcase the city of Hanoi but also deliver an exciting race for Formula One fans in Vietnam and around the world.
"With the mission of 'a better life for Vietnamese people', VinGroup wants to bring this race to Vietnam because of the general benefits t o the society such as more jobs will be created, the infrastructure of Hanoi will be upgraded, and other bigger worldwide events will be encouraged to take place in Vietnam. For VinGroup individually, through the F1 racing event, we are going to proclaim the first Vietnamese car manufacturer, VinFast, to millions of audiences in the world. "Source: Google News Vietnam | Netizen 24 Vietnam
Vietnam-era vets honored by congressman
For the Vietnam-era veterans honored during a pinning ceremony last week in Port Ludlow, the pin they received is much more than a piece of metal on their chest. It is a physical reminder of something they may not have gotten when they returned from overseas the first time â" the enduring gratitude of their nation.
The Nov. 1 ceremony â" part of the ongoing 50th anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam War â" took place at Port Ludlow Fire and Rescue Headquarters No. 31. One by one, more than a dozen veterans were individually honored by Congressman Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, who personally pinned a commemorative medallion on each veteranâs chest. All the veterans honored served between Nov. 1, 1955, and May 15, 1975.
The pin was created by the Department of Defense to honor the 7.2 million surviving Vietnam veterans who served. The penny-sized medallion features the image of a bald eagle on the front surrounded by the words âVietnam War Veteran,â while the backside states, âa grateful nation thanks and honors you.â
âThat is why we are here and why I am here â¦ with a humble pin created by the Department of Defense at the direction of Congress, as a way of saying thank you for serving our nation,â Kilmer told the gathered vets. âThank you for giving your all. Thank you for continuing to make sure that the men and women who currently serve get taken care of and given gratitude someti mes you didnât receive.â
Ken Burke of Silverdale, an Army veteran who served with the 2nd Armored Division during the Vietnam War, said the pinning ceremony is much appreciated, but more can be done.
He said he doesnât know if it will ever make up for the hostility Vietnam veterans went through when they returned home.
But, âIt is a beautiful thing to see that they are trying to come around,â Burke said. âI think there is really a lot of us that donât hold anything againstâ the anti-war movement.
âWe are all better for it by just letting it go,â said Burke, who helped organize the ceremony. âYou canât let something like that decide how it is going to set your life in motion.â
More work to do
While gratitude seems not to be in short supply these days, there is much more that can be done to ensure veterans of all eras have access to the benefits they have earned in service to their country, Kilmer said.
âI think we have a lot of work to do, to do better on behalf of our veterans,â he said. âWe still have a far-too-high population of homeless veterans. There has been a delay in student veterans receiving their benefits, and that is a real problem. There are still significant challenges within the veterans health administration, and that is something we work on quite a lot â" just making sure that people have access to quality health care that they have earned.â
Speaking to the veterans during the ceremony, Kilmer pledged he would do his best on Capitol Hill to be a champion for those who have served their country.
âIf you know of folks that may be grappling with the VA, or frankly any other federal agency, give us a holler, and we will go to work,â he said.
Jerry Hamilton of Chimacum, a retired U.S. Navy commander who served from May 1955 to July 1986, said after the ceremony he has seen the atti tude toward veterans warm considerably during the last 50 years.
âAs they say in the Navy, itâs 180 out â" directly opposite,â he said. âYou go from 000 to 180. It is just a complete turnaround. It is just hard to believe that it could switch like that. Of course, it is a different generation now. It is really great.â
Col. Jack Cousyn of Port Ludlow, USAF retired, was a fighter pilot who flew F-100 Super Sabres during the war. He said it was an honor to recognized by a congressman.
âIt is always a good feeling to see somebody in the political realm who wants to and can understand the sacrifices that military folks go through â" whether it is moving your family often or changing schools often,â Cousyn said. âIt is really up to our government to support the ex-military. That starts at the top.â
Kilmer said he has taken that message to heart.
âIf you serve this country, weâve got to have your back,â he said. âIt means in the lan d of the free and the home of the brave, every service member should have a home, and it shouldnât be under a freeway overpass. It means making sure people get the benefits and the health care that they have earned.âSource: Google News Vietnam | Netizen 24 Vietnam
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Formula 1: Vietnam capital Hanoi to host country's first grand prix in 2020