Formula 1’s ongoing discussions for a race in Vietnam present an exciting opportunity for the sport, according to the sport’s CEO Chase Carey.
HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM - MAY 04: David Coulthard of Scotland and Red Bull Racing drives during the Red Bull Racing Vietnam show run on May 4, 2018 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. (Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images for Red Bull Racing)
Liberty Media has been keen to add races in what it describes as “destination cities” to the calendar, with plans for a grand prix in Miami moving ahead in recent months. Another potential new venue is Vietnam, with a Red Bull demonstration recently held in Ho Chi Minh City (pictured below), and Carey says talks are ongoing to secure a race there in the near future.
“We have made Asia a priority for us,” Carey said at the FIA Sport Conference in Manila. “We have other priorities but Asia is … incredibly important and we’re excited about the opportunities.
“Vietnam is a very exciting country. It’s a country that has caught the world’s imagination and in many ways that’s where we want to be, in places that not only provide great racing but also great platforms and really be a destination that everybody wants to go to. So I think we’re excited about the opportunity to grow in Asia and we’re excited about the opportunities that we’re discussing in Vietnam, certainly.”
And Carey says new venues have to prioritize delivering tracks that produce exciting racing, following a grand prix in Monaco that many drivers dubbed as boring.
“First, we want to make sure it’s great for a race. While we’ll build all the things all around it, it starts with having a track that can provide a great race.
“Today, realistically, there are tracks that probably we need to work on that are not conducive to providing the most exciting, best racing. There are some that fabulous. So to start we want a track that is going to deliver a fabulous, exciting race.
“I think second, we want a site that is going to capture the world’s imagination. We’re in the great cities around the world — we want to use the phrase ‘destination cities.’
“We’re in places where you want people when they look at it on the TV are excited about it and think it looks spectacular. Really capture people’s imagination, and if they go to it it’s even more special. So we want those magical cities, magical countries that really intrigue and fascinate the world.”
By Chris Medland