$150 mln F1 track proposed for Vietnam

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Pending approval by the Ministry of Investment and Planning, Vietnam could have the first racetrack for Formula One race cars.


Hans Geist, developer of F1 racetracks in Russia, Austria and Bahrain, has proposed a plan to build Southeast Asia's most expensive racetrack in Vietnam.


The $150 million Formula One circuit will cover a 300 hectare area near Nha Trang Bay in the central region's Khanh Hoa province, according to the proposal submitted last week.


Work on the project is expected to last three years but it's not clear if and when the proposal will be approved by the ministry.


"The dynamic economy of Vietnam and tourism potential are good reasons for building a circuit here," Geist was cited by ESPN as saying Tuesday.


He said once the racetrack is completed, Vietnam can host different stages of world Formula One races.


Formula One, with more than 200 global brand partners, will guarantee international recognition for the country, he said.


"It will certainly stimulate Vietnam's economy, tourism and infrastructure," Geist added.




Before anyone gets excited or pays a dong, the Vietnam Government will need to contact the world Formula 1 body for support of the project. Already there are a maximum of 20 races on the F1 calendar with Russia to join in 2012. That will mean one of the present races will be dropped. The controlling body has set the limit at 20 races for the season and any financial outlay before getting the green flag from the F1 organizers would be total folly. The cost of staging a race is millions of dollars, on top of the massive cost of constructing a race circuit.

Brian Lamprell

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