The organizers of Vietnam’s first ever F1 race have announced the cancelation of the event, originally scheduled to be held on April 3-5, as the COVID-19 epidemic shows no signs of abating and the number of people in Vietnam affected by the virus grows.
The Vietnam Grand Prix Corporation ((VGPC) said, "The decision was made after many meetings and discussions between the International Automobile Federation (FIA), Hanoi’s People's Committee, Vietnam Motor Association and Vietnam Grand Prix Corporation (VGPC). The related parties will choose another suitable time to ensure the event's safety,"
The F1 race in Hanoi was cancelled after the F1 Australia was also canceled this week due to COVID-19 and Vietnam has followed suit for the same reason.
Although authorities and organizers had been discussing holding the race without spectators, after it was announced that a member of England’s racing team McLaren tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Thursday, the entire team into quarantine for two weeks.
Additionally, the Ferrari team from Italy and other members of the F1 family who come from Italy are also under self-imposed quarantines, and their likelihood of participating in the Hanoi race was questionable.
The VGPC and Vietnamese government have spent an estimated $60 million USD on preparing for this years race, which included building new facilities, expanding and upgrading roads and other general preparations.
The F1 race was expected to boost Hanoi’s tourism revenue ad economy as Vietnamese and international guests were expected to flood into Hanoi for the races.
The entire F1 calendar for the year is now called into question with the cancellation of multiple races and organizers are looking to restart the season in early June if the COVID-19 pandemic has been brought under control. For now, everyone will have to wait and see.