The 2020 Formula 1 Vietnam Grand Prix has officially been cancelled, ending hopes of staging the inaugural event this season and leaving six races left of the revamped calendar.
Though the event was not listed as part of the remaining portion of the 2020 season, F1 and race promoters had hoped it would be possible to stage the race later in the year after postponing it in March.
A statement from the race promoter said it was impossible to hold the event with the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and that it was the only choice it had when considering safety concerns.
“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,” Ms. Le Ngoc Chi, CEO of the Vietnam Grand Prix Corporation, said.
“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.”
Originally scheduled to be the third round of the 2020 season, Vietnam was one of the first races on the calendar to be postponed following the cancellation of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix and prior postponement of the Chinese GP.
The brand new Hanoi circuit incorporated street circuit elements with long sweeping corners and a very fast final sector. The design is also one of the first to incorperate Formula 1’s machine learning and circuit simulations, designed at improving wheel-to-wheel racing.
A shortened pit lane was just one of the changes made to the circuit in the hopes of generating better racing and promote alternate strategies, though the first opportunity to see if those have worked or not will have to wait until 2021.