David Coulthard, Red Bull, Vietnam, 2018

Vietnam F1 race promoters “actively monitoring” potential impact of coronavirus

2020 Vietnam Grand Prix

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The promoters of Vietnam’s new F1 race are “actively monitoring” the potential threat the coronavirus may pose to the country’s debut on the world championship calendar.

Formula 1’s inaugural race in the country is due to take place in April at a new street circuit in Hanoi, not far from the country’s northern border with China. However the outbreak of the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, may put the race in jeopardy.

Over 300 people are believed to have died as a result of the virus, which has also claimed one life outside China. Yesterday Formula E cancelled its race in Sanya, China, which was due to take place on March 21st.

Vietnam’s race is scheduled to take place on April 5th, two weeks before F1 races in China. The Vietnam race promoters issued the following statement in response to a request by RaceFans:

“We are actively monitoring the situation as it develops. For now we don’t anticipate any significant impact on our April event. We will continue to work with our relevant authorities to closely monitor the situation.”

Last month the FIA said it was prepared to make alterations to its planned schedule of races in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Speaking to RaceFans late last year, Vietnam Grand Prix corporation chief executive Le Ngoc Chi said they expected tickets sales for the race to be split 50-50 between local spectators and visitors from abroad.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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11 comments on “Vietnam F1 race promoters “actively monitoring” potential impact of coronavirus”

  1. We are actively monitoring the situation as it develops.

    I guess the first question is “What is the threshold for aborting the event?”, and a close second is “What factors are included in the threshold?”.

    1. Fires in Oz, Killer virus in Asia.
      Holding every 2020 race in Silverstone is looking a def possibility. You can’t be too careful.

  2. The way things are progressing there is a very high probability the Chinese GP won’t go ahead.

    As for Vietnam, I guess it depends on how the virus spreads, or doesn’t, through the region. And even if it does go ahead, all the travel restrictions in place the people avoiding travelling and large agglomerations out of fear or caution will definitely have a negative impact on the GP. Not the best year to start unfortunately.

  3. I’ve got my ticket for the race and have a 10 day trip planned around it (flying from UK).

    At this stage it’s too late to refund any of my travel arrangements without the Foreign Office advising against travel and that’s the advice I’ll follow.

    Whilst the spread of the disease is clear, the actual threat to non-wuhan visitors is not (all deaths have a direct relation to Wuhan) and therefore I’m not hugely concerned at this present time.

    1. I’m in the same boat or plane!.. I have my tickets and flights all booked but I need Air Canada to not cancel any more flights as I have to travel thru China getting to Vietnam.. πŸ™πŸ™πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

      1. Might want to be careful if your flights are coming through China. Last advise I saw was that anyone who had visited China in the previous 14 days would not be allowed in to Vietnam. Not sure how that works if you are just transferring but not leaving the airport however and may all change come April. We’re coming from the UK and praying it all still goes ahead.

      2. I have to agree with Mike! Change your tickets if you can to go through anywhere else but China. I am in the same plane as well…..all booked, 2 weeks of holidays + the GP. Not sure if I should have concerns just yet but I follow the Vietnamese news everyday and will cancel only if its necessary.

      3. No one is flying in to China any more. Any flights out of China, depending on where you go, will be quarantined. Feel a bit sorry for the organisers, this diabolical Wuhan virus will surely affect their International visitor numbers due to the proximity of the border between it and the PRC. I’m in Australia and we had a tour party organised to do the GP and then do some sightseeing for a couple of weeks. As this has dragged on and the infected numbers and deaths have increased alarmingly, some in the party have lost the appetite for risk. If it was held in Saigon (south) I would go no problem, but being in Hanoi I think will tip the dominoes for me.

  4. We also have Vietnam GP tickets arriving Hanoi on 5th April from UK then spending 2 weeks holidaying in various parts of the country

    We are still hopeful both holiday and GP go ahead

    1. We also have tickets flying in for a holiday on phu quoc , then on to Cambodia then flying to Hanoi for GP. All hotels and flights booked.

      Fingers crossed it goes ahead ☹️

  5. We are a group of 5 guys coming to Hanoi on the 1st April from the UK and staying until 8th we have flights accommodation and tickets all booked and paid for so no cancellation for us, i am monitoring the situation closely but no news as yet.

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