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Formula One CEO Excited About Establishing a Race in Hanoi

The globally renowned race might feature in Vietnam’s ancient capital, possibly as soon as 2020.

Though a deal with the government is yet to be confirmed, interest from the organizers seems to be reaching an all-time high. On June 4, Chase Carey, CEO of the Formula One Group, spoke at FIA’s sport conference in Manila.

“Vietnam’s a very exciting country. A country that’s caught the world’s imagination and in many ways that’s where we want to be,” said Carey, as reported by Reuters. “We’re excited about the opportunities that we’re discussing in Vietnam.”

The prospect of an F1 race in Vietnam has been up in the air for a while. In April 2017, former CEO Bernie Ecclestone discussed the possibilities.

“Last year I was approached about having a race in Vietnam. I was offered the opportunity to meet the president about doing a deal for a Grand Prix. I could have done the deal and signed it in August. Everything was arranged for this to happen but I didn’t do the deal because we already have quite a few races in that part of the world and I thought it might be a bit over the top to have another one.”

In the end, Ecclestone turned down a deal worth GBP320 million, or around US$400 million. Since February, however, he has suggested a race in Hanoi may be more likely.

This sentiment is also shared by F1’s Managing Director of Commercial Operations Sean Bratches, who said in April that he thinks a Hanoi race “could come on in the next couple of years, and we’re working with the Hanoi government to that end.”

Formula One’s long-term goal is to increase its number of races per season from 21 to 24 or 25. Ideally, races would be arranged in three geographical segments: Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

If all goes smoothly, Vietnam will be the fifth Asian country to hold a F1 race, replacing Malaysia. The annual race fee, which could reach US$50-60 million, will be paid for with government funding.

[Photo via Action Sports Conenction]

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