Asia-Pacific

Vietnam to host country's first F1 Grand Prix

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Vietnam will host a Formula One grand prix for the first time in 2020 with a street race in the capital Hanoi.

Vietnam will join the Formula One calendar in 2020 with a street race in the capital city Hanoi, the organisers said on Wednesday.

"We are delighted to announce that Hanoi will host a Formula One Grand Prix," the sport's chairman Chase Carey said in a statement.

"Since we became involved in this sport in 2017, we (Liberty Media) 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."

Former British Formula One driver David Coulthard (C) is flanked by Vietnamese models wearing traditional dresses during a ceremony in Hanoi, Vietnam
Former British Formula One driver David Coulthard (C) is flanked by Vietnamese models wearing traditional dresses during a ceremony in Hanoi, Vietnam.
AAP

The South-East Asian country is a growing market for sponsors and will give the region four races on the calendar again after the departure of Malaysia last year.

The others are China, Singapore and Japan.

The announcement was marked with a launch party inside the centuries-old walls of central Hanoi's Thang Long citadel and featuring electronic music and traditional dance and drumming.

Retired British F1 driver David Coulthard also attended with a Red Bull demonstration car.

Vietnamese prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had met Mr Carey earlier.

"This is an important event not only in the field of sport but also in culture and society, contributing to the development of Vietnam," Mr Phuc said in a government statement.

Vietnam's largest conglomerate, Vingroup JSC, has signed a "multi-year deal" to host the event.

The Hanoi race will be run on a 5.565-km layout in the west of the city, adding another street race to the existing ones in Monaco, Singapore, Azerbaijan and Melbourne's Albert Park in Australia.

There will again be 21 races on the 2019 calendar, with the same races as this year retaining their places.

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