Vietnam finally cancels its debut Formula One GP over pandemic

HO CHI MINH CITY, 16 Oct 2020:

Organisers of the 2020 Formula One Vietnam Grand Prix today announced cancellation of the event due to the Covid-19 pandemic – taking away the Southeast Asian country’s plan to host this competition for the first time.

“We are unable to welcome the most exciting and prestigious motorsport series on the planet to Vietnam in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Le Ngoc Chi, CEO of the Vietnam Grand Prix Corporation (VGPC) in a statement.

“This was a very difficult decision for all of us to make but ultimately it was the only solution after carefully reviewing all safety criteria as well as the efficiency under current conditions. We thank you for your support and understanding during this uncertain period.”

The VGPC will give full refunds on all tickets sold after several months of doubt about a race – which was originally to be held in the capital in April and has been postponed throughout the year, until finally the cancellation came today.

The move had been largely expected by fans since the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) had excluded the Hanoi grand prix from its new calendar.

Vietnam is one of the countries in the world that has best managed the Covid-19 pandemic, accruing just 35 deaths and 1,124 positive cases since January. But the strict sanitary measures required by the government make organisation of events of this type impractical.

The nation’s borders have been closed to tourists since the end of March and only Vietnamese returnees and specialist foreign workers can enter the country. They have to comply with a two-week quarantine in hotels and government centres.

With the Formula One cancellation, Vietnam follows in the footsteps of Azerbaijan, Singapore, Japan, Canada, the US, Mexico and Brazil – which in recent months have also been forced to cancel their respective grand prixs for this world championship.

– EFE