F1: With former mayor in jail, Hanoi GP may never happen

Vietnam inked a 10-year deal with Formula One in 2018 costing Vietnam $60 million a year, the fee was to be picked up in full by the country’s largest private conglomerate, VinGroup, which had planned a night race.

The city was set to make its F1 debut in 2020 but the inaugural Vietnamese Grand Prix was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and Hanoi has not appeared on the race calendar since.

The $600 million circuit under construction in 2019

After the 2020 cancellation, the race was dropped from the 2021 global calendar when city mayor Nguyen Duc Chung, a major supporter of the grand prix, was arrested.

Chung was sentenced to 10 years in jail on corruption charges.

“Without Chung, the future of the race in Hanoi is gloomy,” a source close to the race told AFP on condition of anonymity in 2020.

Circuit under construction in 2019

Today, Hanoi’s motor race circuit lies largely abandoned with hopes faded that Vietnam’s capital will ever host a Formula 1 grand prix.

Now, the spectator stands have been removed and most of the circuit sits empty — save a few hobby cyclists who sneak in, lured by the open space in the traffic-clogged city. AFP/Fox News


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