Despite a couple of hiccups over the last two years, higher-ups at Formula 1 are still determined to host a Grand Prix in Vietnam sooner rather than later.
Vietnam had a race listed on the official Formula 1 calendar for both the 2020 and 2021 seasons but both had to be called off for reasons outside of the control of race organisers, promoters, sponsors, and Formula 1 executives.
However, these unfortunate and unlucky setbacks have not lessened the determination of all involved to host a Vietnam Grand Prix soon.
“Vietnam is an incredibly exciting race location for Formula 1. There is a huge young demographic in the country, a vibrant business sector, and it is somewhere we’re very excited to race,” said Formula 1 global director of race promotion Chloe Targett-Adams.
The good news is that not much more needs to be done to prepare the country to host a Formula 1 race because a brand new, purpose-built track was constructed ahead of the 2020 season to host the inaugural race that unfortunately never happened.
“2020 was to be the first race, with an amazing circuit built in the outskirts of Hanoi. However, it is totally understandable no one wants to launch the first race in the middle of what was happening last year.
Everything is there and everything is ready, they just need to settle on a date for future seasons.
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“They are also working through some localised issues with some change in government. We just decided and agreed with our promoter, Vingroup, that early 2021 just wasn’t the right timing for that.
“We continue to work through with them, the longer term we’d still relish the opportunity to have a race in Vietnam, so we’re hoping we’ll get there eventually.”
Popularity Of Formula 1
Formula 1 is an enormous global sporting brand. The 2021 season features a record-high 23 races in a single calendar year, which is expected to attract a cumulative audience of well over 1.5-billion viewers throughout the year.
It’s very entertaining and thrilling for viewers and a popular choice for bettors to back up their favorites. World-wide popular bookmakers that operate in many different markets and are part of UK, India and Australian online betting sites listings such as Bet365 and Unibet are offering odds for the tournament.
Bet365 for example, has Lewis Hamilton as the favourite to win the Driver’s championship in 2021 at 1.72, but interest has piqued and Max Verstappen’s odds have shortened significantly to 2.10 after the Dutch driver won the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
The most popular race of the 2020 season was the Hungarian Grand Prix, which attracted 103.7-million viewers. The impact and benefit that can have on a local economy are almost incalculably high.
The marketing potential within that kind of captive audience would do wonders for the Vietnam tourism industry and economy. Hosting a Formula 1 Grand Prix boosts the economy of the host city and country by increasing tourism, stimulating spending, and even creating jobs for the local community.
A report into the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix showed the race held at the Circuit of the Americas had an economic impact on the metro of Austin, Texas of around $2.8-billion between 2012 and 2015.
Expansion Is The Name Of The Game
While Vietnam is a clear priority for Formula 1, it is not the only territory being targeted by the ambitious organisation for expansion. According to Targett-Adams, F1 is constantly exploring new territories intending to add new races to the calendar.
“Africa is a continent that we don’t race in and that is just wrong. It’s somewhere that we very much want to [visit], it’s a priority, we have been in talks with possible options for a few years and we’re hoping that ultimately we will be able to achieve a race there in the kind of mid-to near-term,” she said.
“The US remains a clear strategic priority, we have a great race in Austin, we look forward to working with our promoter there hopefully for more years to come. We’re looking at a second race opportunity, a destination location, and looking to build up that US race proposition.
“Asia we have made no secret of the fact that’s a key priority, we’re global series, we’re fortunate there’s a lot of interest.”