Video: First look at an onboard lap of Vietnam’s F1 track

2020 F1 season

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The first official rendering of an onboard lap of the new Vietnam street circuit which will join the 2020 F1 calendar has been revealed.

The video above, shared with RaceFans by, shows the configuration of the 5.6-kilometre, Hermann Tilke-designed track to be located in the country’s capital Hanoi.

Tilke’s con Carsten, CEO of Tilke GmbH, said: “The first section reminds me of the Mercedes Arena at the Nurburgring. Also, the track has very varied passages with high-speed turns, modelled to some extent on the Esses at Suzuka, and long straights that provide good overtaking opportunities with hard braking points.”

“Overall, it is a very challenging track, on which to race and will certainly produce plenty of racing action. It will not be easy to post a perfect lap on this track.”

F1’s commercial managing director Sean Bratches said last year the circuit had been designed to maximise the potential for drivers to race together closely and avoid producing “another processional race.”

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

The first Vietnam Grand Prix will take place in April next year. Construction work at the site of the track, 12 kilometres west of the centre of Hanoi, began last month.

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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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50 comments on “Video: First look at an onboard lap of Vietnam’s F1 track”

  1. I’m kinda worried about the pit entry. If you were to spin at the exit of the last right hander, you are bound to hit the end of the pit wall. I believe it should be pushed back so spinning cars don’t hit that barrier

  2. Oh no, a new South Korea track.

    1. @melthom

      A new Valencia

  3. ChorltonDragon
    18th April 2019, 18:38

    Oh dear :(

    1. Couldn’t say it better.

    2. it’s like a horse with horns

    3. I couldn’t make head or tail of the video, so I used a search engine to look for a map of the track. …Okay, so I know next to nothing about designing racing car circuits, … but I don’t think this will be considered a great track. Anyway, Liberty Media like it, and that’s the important thing, so Hermann Tilke & co will get paid. LM want a circuit which was designed with a “Zen” philosophy and that’s what they’ve got.

  4. GtisBetter (@)
    18th April 2019, 18:52

    Doesn’t seem too bad, but needs more elevation

  5. Looks very good to me, bit like Mexico and Baku. Other than one place it’s refreshing to see the lack of ninety degree corners and fast bends instead.

    Possibly too narrow for overtaking if I’m going to be negative and the blind corners could cause some unlucky crashes but that’s balanced out by the challenge and zero run off gets the thumbs up from me.

  6. A straight. A sharp breaking point, a 360° turn. A straight. A sharp breaking point, a 360° turn. A straight. A sharp breaking point…

    If this is a championship for as little steering wheel moves as possible, then bring it on!!! Brilliant job, Liberty!!!!!

    1. Some corners are nice, mainly the last set. But way too much and too long straights.

    2. I’d love to see a 360° turn. I wish F1 had the guts to make it happen but I think it will be F1 if anything.

      Get some trackmania-like action going and I bet people would flock to circuits.

  7. It’s like a Super Nintendo Mario Cart level, flat with tight corners to power slide round.

    1. > power slide around

      Yeah, let’s model the 2021 regs to bring back power sliding! Seriously, I’d love to see it but…dream on.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        18th April 2019, 23:01

        1 championship point for the best drift….

    2. F1 is not allowed to have genuinely difficult tracks. It’s against the rules… What I’d give to see F1 tackle bathurst. I don’t think half the field would make it to the checkered flag and whoever has the biggest fruit hanging would make it there first, just like the old days. More exciting than chasing this sterilised wheel to wheel hairpin stuff.

      1. BlackJackFan
        19th April 2019, 11:37

        Why not… Forget about two races in China and have two in Australia… Suits me, Sir…!

        1. ernietheracefan
          21st April 2019, 7:17

          Bathurst & the Bend..

          Yes please..

      2. @skipgamer
        How many do you think would end up in the bunker at the chase? Assuming they survived the hump halfway down conrod ;)
        I went and saw JB throw a McLaren around there years ago. Pretty cool. The thing wasn’t geared for the straight and run out of puff at about half way. Quite amazing all the same though.
        I have always wondered if Phillip Island would work out for F1. It’s pretty fast, lots of run-off, decent pits etc. Maybe too fast for F1…

  8. While the the safety fencing is an necessity, it takes away a lot of the aesthetic spectacle of being on city circuit. Formula E has been suffering the same issue. Most of what you see are fenced in tunnels on the street races. Baku has been welcome exception, esp with the section through the castle walls, etc.

  9. Looks like an American concrete wall track.
    No armaco, no gravel traps, no run-off areas, it closely resembles the soulless Formula E tracks. All identical tunnels of close concrete walls and debris fencing, no elevation, no sense of the venue, or surroundings.
    Not a fan! But maybe the real thing will be better, ie nothing like this!

  10. This reminds me of most formula e tracks. The walls are around the whole track making it hard to figure out what part of the track you are looking at. I think there will be overtaking here but it will all happen at the back straight.

  11. Its like a mix of Sochi, Baku and South Korea. Hope nobody goes airborne in this track, god forbid.

  12. Reminds me of South Korea (basically due to a majority of the lap being composed of mind-numbingly long straights and dull as dishwater 90 rights and lefts, with a ‘where the hell did that come from a why is the rest of the track not like this’ final sector). Gone in a couple of years, just like the aforementioned.

  13. I like the long start straight – gives the drivers time to think and adjust after the green light, rather than just go crazy into the first bend.
    Other than that pretty much same old stuff.

    I am 100% in favour of elevation variation.
    Give us humps and dips.
    Unsight the drivers before a nasty bend and make them wonder what is ahead instead of seeing it a mile away.

  14. About as inspiring as Valencia and Sochi. Let’s hope it races better than it looks.

  15. make it a night GP so that no one can see it

  16. Better bring back Fan Vision (or whatever it was called), with all those safety fences, being at the race live is a disadvantage, won’t see anything.

  17. petebaldwin (@)
    18th April 2019, 23:03

    As others have said, the fences make all of these tracks look the same. It’s a shame because Hanoi is an amazing city but this isn’t going to show any of it off.

  18. Reminds me of those Indycar street circuits where a car understeers around a hairpin bend and hits the wall and is then hit by the next car which is then hit by the next car etc. until the whole pack is blocked because they don’t have a tight enough turning circle to get through the gap between the inside wall and the tangled heap of cars. Must really annoy all those track owners who are told they have to move the grandstands back to make more run off if they want F1.

  19. Nice shed…..

  20. I like to call this a “DRS track” long straights with hairpins. I think they’ll hit the brief in terms of those DRS assisted side-by-side on the straight moments as long as the cars are close enough in performance to get into the DRS zone. As for whether they’ll be any good if DRS gets removed is a completely different question, drafting behind another car on a straight has always been good in tin tops but in F1 commentators always seem to say the lack of clean air isn’t worth it.

    I like the idea of more interesting layouts. Seeing a strange connection of curves on a map is always just inherently more exciting. I guess because a hairpin is a hairpin right? There’s very little difference between one tracks hairpin and another, and I think out-braking to the inside is one of the most boring ways to overtake. I prefer tracks that have more chance for battles across multiple corners, those are the real heart-stoppers for me that are impossible not to love.

  21. For f sake… All the whiners, whining about anything and its exact opposite. This has far more potential than the cramped, thight abominations of Valencia, Abu Dhabi and Singapore.
    Even with it’s simplistic shape (which is a definite advantage compared to the above mentioned) it has a lot more features than the Red Bull ring.

  22. Absolutely not “first look”. A mod of Vietnam track was released to Assetto Corsa last year so videos like that have been out long time already.

    1. That wasn’t from the circuit builders though.

  23. Scott Johnson
    19th April 2019, 2:52

    “Too many long straights ended by hard turns!”

    Are you kidding me? It’s the only way any road course in the modern era can regularly create overtaking opportunities.

    “It’s a concrete tunnel!”

    And Monaco isn’t? Oh, wait. Monaco actually HAS a concrete tunnel.

    “There isn’t any elevation change!”

    It’s HANOI, you know, a city on a river delta? There’s no elevation change BECAUSE THERE’S NO ELEVATION CHANGE. Hanoi is flat. Get over it.

    I see three solid overtake spots, some bendy bits, and places where it gets proper wide and then gets really narrow. Stop the gratuitous whinging and watch the damned show.

    1. BlackJackFan
      19th April 2019, 11:43

      Who rattled your cage…? People state their opinions here, which is what you are doing. That’s all this is – just an internet exchange of ideas. Some are intelligent and intellectually conceived. Many are just childish rants…
      Get over it.

  24. I like how the first half of the lap is out of focus and the second half in focus – is that new to Tilke’s bag of tricks?

  25. … and all I can look at is this Halo obstructing the straight-on view

    1. BlackJackFan
      19th April 2019, 11:45

      Even without the halo this sort of rendition shows almost nothing of the “straight-on view.”

  26. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    19th April 2019, 11:51

    These driver views are terrible IMO. Not that i ever drive these things, but you would not always have a clear view of everything including the wheel and your legs! You would only see that and your screen clearly if you either faced down or moved your eyes down. I think they should at least make it blurred and make it more realistic by giving an option to look down to see them, then blurring the vision out the car a bit as you do so. This view makes it look like you have a totally unrealistic way of seeing things. It looks much worse than a realistic driving position surely. I mean, do f1 drivers really have a clear site of their legs when looking where they are going? If these games or simulators are meant to be realistic, i just don’t understand why they look like this. Are there other options for this position wise do you think?

    1. “Not that I ever drive these things”

      If you did, maybe you’d know why they are like this. When you are racing with a gamepad, realism is not really your biggest concern. They use increased field of view so that you can actually see around you, not just ahead. Kinda important when you’re racing someone. These games have an option to decrease the fov but doing so means you will not see your sides as well or even your mirrors. Many games do allow you to look around with the stick but that’s not really something you wanna do when racing around at 300 km/h as you will then not see forward.

      Many people who use wheels do decrease the fov because it looks more realistic which is important when driving with a wheel but that creates a lot of problems when racing wheel to wheel. Wheels usually don’t have sticks that you can use to look around at all so you might cause a lot of accidents unless you use multiple monitors. I personally prefer to play games that have vr support as that takes away this problem altogether.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        19th April 2019, 16:27

        I agree i obviously won’t know why they are like this, but i don’t see how having some stick to allow you to look around (equivalent to moving your head or eyes in real life) would make crashing any more likely. It just gives the game an unrealistic advantage to real life IMO. but like you say, there will likely be a reason for this.

  27. Old Tilke is back! *sigh*

    1. *agreeing sigh*
      Like he wasn’t here for the last several decades…

  28. I thought I was going to be like Baku but it more like Valencia.

  29. boring same like baku sochi korea. we need zolder ,estoril imola not boring tracks

  30. Hermann Tilke-designed track

    Enough said. Unfortunately.

  31. Most f1 tracks suck because of f1, f1 cars now only pass because of Drs.

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