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May 29, 2020 / 16:21

Hanoi may host F1 in November, but without int’l spectators

Before the outbreak of Covid-19, the F1 race had been expected to give a boost to Hanoi’s economy.

After missing its long-awaited debut in April, the Vietnam Formula One Grand Prix may take place in Hanoi in mid-November this year, but without any international spectators.

The proposal is made by organizers of the race to the Hanoi city government and the International Automobile Federation (FIA) (FIA), Thanh Nien reported.

 An aerial view of the F1 race track in Hanoi

If the race in Vietnam is held without spectators, the organizers may incur a loss of VND700-800 billion (US$29.8-34 million) in revenue.

In a second option, only local race fans are allowed to enter. Economic losses of the organizers will be less painful.

Hanoi is estimated to have invested some US$150 million and the final sum could be US$200 million, according to Thanh Nien.

Before the postponement announcement, as many as 100,000 international guested had registered to join the race in Vietnam and the number of local spectators was 40,000.

International supporters who had previously booked tickets for the scheduled April event in Hanoi have been refunded. Local ticket buyers have their rights intact.

Formula One Chairman and CEO Chase Carey has recently discussed plans to host races in Austria, the UK, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands to soon put this thrilling tournament back on track.

The Austrian F1 race has been agreed in principle to happen on July 5, pending government approval. In the UK, the race may also go ahead if teams undergo quarantine during 14 days prior to the race.

On announcing the postponement of the Hanoi race in mid-March, Formula 1’s Chase Carey said: “The global situation regarding COVID-19 is fluid and very difficult to predict and it's right we take time to assess the situation and make the right decisions…We are also looking forward to Vietnam’s inaugural race and bringing the spectacle of F1 to one of the most exciting cities in the world.”

Before the outbreak of Covid-19, the F1 race had been expected to give a boost to Hanoi’s economy and enhance the image of Vietnam as a dynamic destination.