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Hanoi to host F1 race in 2020, say officials

Vietnam will be home to an Formula One race in April 2020, Hanoi city officials said yesterday, becoming the third South-east Asian nation to welcome top-flight racing as the franchise seeks to move into new markets.

The race will be hosted in the capital Hanoi, with the circuit set to be unveiled at a gala next week, the Hanoi People's Committee said in an invite to the event.

"The city of Hanoi managed to conclude the cooperation to be entitled as the official host of a race of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship (from) April 2020," the letter read.

Authorities said earlier this year they supported the idea of hosting a race, but would not dip into government coffers to fund it.

Mai Tien Dung, head of the government office, said in August that he hoped costs could be covered by potentially advertising revenues.

Officials had originally considered hosting the race around Hanoi's scenic Hoan Kiem lake near the bustling Old Quarter, but decided instead on a route near the national stadium, where the roads are wider.

F1's governing body, the International Automobile Federation (FIA), did not immediately reply to AFP's request for comment.

F1 race director Charlie Whiting said last month that he had visited the site in Hanoi and was confident the circuit would be ready in time for the 2020 season.

Vietnam will be the third South-east Asian country to host F1 races after Malaysia and Singapore. - AFP

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