Formula 1 remains hopeful that it can eventually launch a grand prix in Vietnam despite the postponement and continued absence of the event.
A semi-permanent facility was constructed on the outskirts of Vietnam’s capital city, Hanoi, with the inaugural race scheduled for April 2020.
However the event was postponed in mid-March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the summer Hanoi’s ex-mayor Nguyen Duc Chung – a key figure in launching the proposed event – was sentenced to five years in prison for misappropriating state secrets and misusing assets.
Vietnam was subsequently omitted from a 2021 calendar that features a record-breaking 23 rounds, including the return of the Netherlands and debut of Saudi Arabia.
But Formula 1’s long-time Global Director of Race Promotion Chloe Targett-Adams has outlined that there remains hope that the championship can visit Vietnam.
“Vietnam is an incredibly exciting race location for Formula 1,” said Targett-Adams, speaking at the BlackBook Motorsport Virtual Summit on Wednesday.
“There is a hugely young demographic in the country, vibrant business sector, somewhere we’re very excited to race.
“2020 was to be the first race, with an amazing circuit bult in the outskirts of Hanoi.
“Totally understandably no one wants to launch a first race in the middle of a pandemic, [they’re] 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, longer term we’d still relish the opportunity to have a race in Vietnam, so we’re hoping we’ll get there eventually.”
Targett-Adams outlined that Formula 1 is continuing to explore potential new venues, with Africa, the United States and Asia of key interest.
“Africa is a continent that we don’t race in and that is just wrong,” she said.
“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.
“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.”