Vietnam track won’t produce “another processional race”

2020 F1 season

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Formula One Management is confident the track layout for the 2020 Vietnamese Grand Prix will generate exciting races.

The 5.6-kilometre Hermann Tilke-designed circuit which will hold the race was revealed when the grand prix was announced today.

F1’s commercial managing director Sean Bratches said recent progress with circuit design will help make the event a success.

“One of the things that has been critical to our efforts in recent times is the creation of great racing circuits,” said Bratches. “We don’t want another processional race.

“We want true racing – wheel-to-wheel, livery-to-livery – on street circuits where there is actually the possibility of overtaking.

“To that end, we have a motorsport and technology division within Formula 1 now and that team has been working hand in glove with the Hanoi government to ensure that the circuit is not only in a world class city, which Hanoi is, but that it is a world class circuit fans will enjoy.”

Bratches confirmed the April date for the race had been selected as part of Liberty Media’s plan to group by region.

“One of the things we are currently trying to do is align our races by geography. We are subject to some agreements we have inherited, but ideally, and not necessarily in this order, we would like to have our races in the Asian and Australasian markets grouped, as we would the races in our American and European markets. April in Vietnam supports that vision.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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37 comments on “Vietnam track won’t produce “another processional race””

  1. Too early to judge. Irrespective of how the quality of racing might be, an interesting-looking layout overall. It has features from Sochi in it as well as Silverstone/COTA, and Monza/Baku/Mexico. BTW, April isn’t the only month that supports the vision of grouping the races by region. September and October support that equally.

  2. At “Tilke-designed circuit” I stopped and cried.

    1. Now, with dry eyes: It seems kind of interesting layout. Streets seems to be wide enough.
      Not sure about how the yet to build parts would work. But I think we know how current cars deal with “lightbulb” turns.
      By the way, for those wanting to see the ground search for “My Dinh National Stadium”, than turn the layout 90º to the left – the start-finish area is due west.

      1. Yes, and for Indycar they can just eliminate the twisty bit and move the start finish to one of the long straights!

      2. Thanks @maiagus, I’d been trying to work out exactly where it was!

    2. Hey, who knows, maybe they did learn what to do to circuits to give them the potential of an exciting race. Looks like the drivers hailing Baku as a good one for racing this year got what they asked for – a twisty section paired up with long wide straights.

      I guess it still depends on what tyres they will be using and how successfull the efforts to make cars race closer are, even if the track design as such would work. I’ll be happily surprised if that all works.

    3. He’s designed the Circuit of the Americas, one of the best tracks on the calendar. So no need to panic.

    4. @krommenaas Indeed. If anything, it seems like Tilke’s learnt a trick from COTA, the greatest-hits concept and layout of which were largely designed by Tavo Hellmund and Kevin Schwantz.

      There’s a copy available of a very early sketch of the layout by Tavo that he apparently drew in Bernie’s kitchen that has the basic layout already and name-checks all the relevant tracks. Reading his earnest handwritten comments—like “Do an Istanbul Turn 8 (but faster)”—it seems almost too comical to be true, but it was reported and published by the Austin Statesman.

  3. question: since i have begun tracking F1, a decade or so, i hear is every track designed by Tilke. i read he is one of the 4 designers approved by FIA . why are there no other designers .. something doesn’t seem right …


    1. Maybe he has better access to financial means to its projects.

    2. Fairly sure Sky or BBC have done a feature on this before. In general, they use Tilke because he offers the full package, not just circuit design, but engineering, architectural and general project delivery support as well as vast experience of delivering grade 1 circuits that the FIA requires for F1 to race there. The guy’s company is essentially a safe, one-stop shop consultancy for designing, planning and building a circuit that is almost guaranteed to get a grade 1 license at the first attempt without the hassle of having to manage multiple contracts.

    3. What Nathan Palel mentions is certainly true. Also a decade and a half of him being more or less the default choice Bernie gave new tracks means he has an enormous headstart with that.

  4. It probably won’t given that massive straight. But the design looks uninspiring. I got the shivers watching the official video enthusiastically showing “all those corners reminecent of sections of famous racetracks”. They’ve got Monaco, Nurburgring, Sepang, Suzuka…

    I don’t think having tracks that copy sections of other tracks are a good idea. COTA works, but only just. If they continue that trend we’ll have 10 different sections copied over 20 tracks?

    Better design something unique, like Singapore did, a recent addition that totally works.

    1. @fer-no65 you always find something to complain about don’t you?
      The track looks good from the little we have seen so far. Overtaking opportunities, long straight ripe for some slipstreaming shenanigans, awesome city, awesome country, whats not to like. Fingers crossed this is success.

      1. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend I do, actually! But I don’t think it’s a good layout. Don’t you think we already have a lot of tracks with the same formula? straight, harpin, straight? The city and country being awesome are another thing altogheter.

        1. @fer-no65 I guess there just is no pleasing some people…

          1. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend there is and, besides, you don’t know me. Why are you saying something like that and why can’t I say that this doesn’t look good for me? if you feel it’s fine, good for you! we’re all entitled to our opinions.

          2. @fer-no65 you are entitled to your opinion. But you weren’t clear why you thought it is a bad design. You mentioned the track is straight hairpin straight. That’s not the case at all, if you pay attention to it. You were coming across a little obtuse that’s all.

  5. With such long straights they should not have DRS at all

  6. Oh I’ll bet there will never be any problems at that first corner!

  7. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
    7th November 2018, 19:06

    I’m really curious to see how the construction of the facility is handled. There are a bunch of businesses located exactly where the start/finish, garages, stands and the permanent section of the track would go.

    I know Vietnam isn’t the world leader on property rights, so hopefully it doesn’t boil down to “Your government wants to build an F1 track, so… Get out.” But I have a feeling it might.

    1. From the images it looks like the main piece of land might be a construction company there @braketurnaccelerate. Maybe they are in on the action hoping to make a dime from the land as well as get a boatload of construction work contracted from building upon that land!

  8. All the children say: “We don’t need another hero. We don’t need another Monaco. All we want is what’s beyond. The Tilke-Drome”.

    1. Good one, Malice. Have all your albums too.

  9. As a track map to me it looks sort of Shanghai-esque, with an attempt to replicate the fun on the straight of Baku.

  10. As we have seen previously, track layout actually does not really matter. We can have good races in Baku, Spa, or Hungagoring – or absolute snoozefests in any location. It seems to be more down to chance. Heck, even the dreaded Valencia circuit had one of the best (?) races ever in 2012.

    If F1 manages to sort out some of the overtaking issues with the new front wings for next year, then I’m looking forward to this one. If not, then it looks like the track has one massive DRS zone for easy highway passing, and a few hairpins and roundabouts.

    1. digitalrurouni
      7th November 2018, 23:25

      Very much trhis

  11. I’m with them, I hope this race doesn’t turn out to be Hanoing

    1. @johnmilk: I hear you Tonkin. Hope it provides UnPHOgettable racing.

  12. Any track that looks like it took half its inspiration from AVUS Autobahn raises serious questions in my mind.

  13. I like that the track isn’t a series of 90 degree turns with a couple of hairpins.

    The “Suzuka” section looks interesting to drive, but will stretch the field. Massive straights means there’s still opportunities. High speed, challenging corners – I’m actually relatively excited for this track for the first time since COTA was first shown.

  14. Looks like a great track. Long straights with slow hairpin like corners, certainly seems better for overtaking than most tracks.

    Off course I first wanna drive it in a sim to pass any judgement on the flow etc.

  15. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
    8th November 2018, 12:23

    Vietnam track won’t produce “another processional race”

    – Yeah right!

  16. Its an interesting layout, but I give the race 2 years, just like Korea. There will be no fans in the stands. They want to make these “destination” races, but I honestly don’t think many people are going to Vietnam as a destination. Like Maylaysia for example. Sure, its a great track, but sitting in 95 degree heat with 100% humidity is not my idea of a fun vacation. They should have a race in Burmuda or the Caribbean, that’s a destination!

    1. Actually, Vietnam is a top destination in Asia. Its tourism is booming, growing by double digit percentages year-on-year. Its definitely one of the most popular places to go on holiday where I live (in Korea), and I can see it becoming a destination race for lots of F1 fans across Asia. Even some of my Korean friends with no interest in F1 perked up when they heard there would be a street race in Hanoi.

  17. Anybody who has Assetto Corsa, @nothke has done a quick sketch of the trackavailable

    1. And heres a lap on Youtube

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