Formula 1 chief Chase Carey says its involvement with the new Vietnam Grand Prix is no different to how it deals with other races but does point to key benefits the sport can gain from being part of the project “from day one”.
Last November, F1 announced a new Vietnam Grand Prix would join the race calendar in 2020, marking Liberty Media’s first new race since taking control of the sport two years ago.
Hanoi is set to host a city street race, marking the sport’s first-ever event in the country, with F1 taking direct contribution into the formulation of the project ahead of its April 2020 debut.
Last month promoters from 16 current races sent a joint message through the Formula 1 Promoters Association to Liberty Media to raise concerns about the sport and the direction it was heading.
F1’s chief executive Carey has played down those concerns and wants F1 to give every race equal treatment.
“We are working with all of them so I don’t think we’d end up saying we are dealing with that [Vietnam] any differently to how we’re dealing with other races,” Carey said in a Sky Sports interview. “We have to take ownership of all 21 races we have.
“Certainly being involved with Vietnam from day one enabled us to engage in a way that we hadn’t had the opportunity [before], on laying out the track and creating the race and event. It is a city race so that always has more dynamics, in terms of what a track is going to look like.
“When you have a track that’s already built a fair amount of the race is pre-determined. When you are putting it in a city you are creating a lot of it from scratch and from what exists.
“It did enable us to be more deeply involved in creating a race that we think will be a great race for fans in a place that will be a great experience for fans, the spectacle beyond the race, in a place that we think will capture their imagination. I don’t think it’s a completely different animal.”
Carey also revealed it is F1’s ultimate plan to have the same level of involvement with every Grand Prix promoter, including making sweeping changes, in order to improve the show element of the sport.
“Our goal is to work with every race that we have to make sure that whether it’s the race itself or the experience around the race, or the engagement with our partner, maximises the opportunity,” he said.
“Realistically, we’re working with all the races we have to make sure the races are everything they can be. Every time somebody says this track isn’t great for passing, my reaction is that we ought to make it good for passing. And if there’s an issue we ought to try and fix it.”