Video: A closer look at the new Hanoi Street Circuit in F1 2020

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Formula 1 was supposed to hold its first ever race in Vietnam two months ago. The pandemic put paid to that.

The Vietnam Grand Prix promoters had a new street circuit in Hanoi ready to go for their inaugural race. They still entertain hopes of finding a slot for the event later in the 2020 F1 season.

Whatever happens, the 2020 Vietnam Grand Prix will happen in the virtual world. As with all 22 tracks which were originally slated to appear on the 2020 F1 calendar, it will feature in the upcoming new edition of the official Formula 1 game.

Codemasters gave us the chance to play an early version of F1 2020 as you’ve seen in our first play preview. Now they’ve lifted the embargo on details of how it’s recreated F1’s only all-new addition to its 2020 track roster, we can share our first experiences of driving Hanoi.

As you’ll see in the video above, the track is dramatically different to the other new addition to this year’s calendar, Zandvoort. The decades-old Dutch track follows the natural contours of the land; Vietnam’s circuit is assembled from streets in the capital Hanoi, with a purpose-built section including the pit and paddock in the mould of Singapore (and, long before that, Adelaide).

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Driving Hanoi, it’s hard not to be reminded of the most recent all-new addition to the championship, Baku City Circuit. Vietnam’s track features plenty of long acceleration zones followed by big stops, the latter potentially giving the opportunity to appreciate the braking improvements in the game George Russell recently described.

The structure of the two opening corner complexes is unusual, and clearly designed to challenge the driver’s ability to make a clean exit onto the following acceleration zones and thereby create overtaking opportunities. The longest ‘straight’, which gently curves to the right, leads into an excruciatingly slow hairpin which is bound to be a scene of drama when F1 finally gets to race there.

The final portion of the track is sinuous and up-tempo. It is also dauntingly narrow at first, with barriers presenting blind apexes and little room for error. As it opens out there are a few asphalt run-off areas which are bound to cause the usual track limits headaches. It’s also tricky to spot some of the low kerbs in wet conditions (see the video below).

The footage above comes from an early preview version of F1 2020 and further updates are expected to the circuit ahead of next month’s release date. RaceFans will give our full verdict on the final game ahead of its launch.

Video: Vietnam in the rain

Read our in-depth first play preview of F1 2020 and find more videos of it 2020 on the RaceFans YouTube page:

How we tested F1 2020

We ran F1 2020 using the following hardware:

Buy / pre-order F1 2020

RaceFans earns a commission on products sold via the links to our affiliate partners above, however you are not charged any extra. See here for more information.

Note: All images and footage show F1 2020 in an unfinished state.

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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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  • 9 comments on “Video: A closer look at the new Hanoi Street Circuit in F1 2020”

    1. That track is very interesting looking.

    2. I wonder if they’ll change the Williams livery

      1. @slobo They will, but in an update after release.

    3. Just now realised how similar the opening section is to the current Nurburgring: a tight hairpin, a loooong corner that tightens, opens, and tightens, and another medium-speed one leading out of the complex.

      1. @kaiie Because like other modern circuits they have just copied aspects of others to fit the circuit design guidebook.

        The first sector copies Nurburgring & the last copies Silverstone & Suzuka with the now obligatory boringly long straights with very slow/tight hairpins at the end & no doubt the usual series of off-camber corners.

        I just can’t get excited about any of them because everything is so samey now. You don’t have the mix of diverse & interesting circuits that all have there own character, feel & challenges now as they are all built around a guidebook rather than the natural terrain. Even the street circuits lack that proper street circuit feel you used to get that used to really set them apart from the permanent facilities (Baku been an exception to a degree, Just lacking the bumps street circuits of old had).

        1. it’s only game footage, and its been mainly POV, but no matter how good/bad the circuit is, it looking so dull. These new street circuits all look the same. Baku at least has great looking scenery.

    4. Steve (@machinesteve)
      9th June 2020, 20:25

      Convrete, congrete, concrete…..it could be anywhere in the world, in any city. Utterly devoid of charater and atmosphere…..can’t waits. Yawn.

    5. Concrete walls everywhere, almost no run-offs. I like that a lot. On the other hand, too safety car-prone.

    6. The game doesn’t have any suspension travel, right? *facepalm*

      As of the track – boring piece of forgettable trap with “c” instead of “t”….

    Comments are closed.