WHY A VIETNAM GP IN 2020 IS THE WRONG MOVE FOR LIBERTY MEDIA
The Hanoi GP Will Be Inaugurated In 2020
A few days it was announced that there would be a Vietnamese GP in the streets of Hanoi in 2020. This will mean there will be four street circuits on the F1 calendar in 2020.
The track looks typical of a Asian GP: long straights and different speed corners.
I can see why Liberty Media want to do this - they want to introduce more races in places that haven't been fortunate to have Formula One, but I believe that this is a grave mistake.
This would mean there would be 22 races in 2020, and Liberty Media have stated that they wanted to expand the season to 25 GPs, although teams have stated that 21 is absolutely the limit. That debate is for another post.
The proposed track for 2020
However, whilst Liberty Media are trying to expand the worldwide calendar, they are failing to consolidate the support that is in where Formula One was born: Europe.
This may seems like a weird point and please correct me if I'm wrong in the comments, but F1 support in European countries are dwindling at the moment, if not flattened out.
Currently eight of the 21 races on the F1 calendar are in Europe, however it is likely that teams will not challenge to new race in Vietnam, but rather the number of races in the F1 season. That would result in at the very least one race leaving the calendar, and it is likely that it would be a European Grand Prix as many of them are running out of years on their contracts, particularly Germany and Britain.
OK, it is very unlikely that there won't be a British GP, but just imagine if there wasn't. The outcry would just be tremendous from the country where the sport's first race was ever held. It's just wrong.
Eventually what we'll see is less and less races in Europe and more and more in the US and Asia. I'm not against adding races to a calendar, but I'm against putting races onto the calendar instead of races that have over thirty years of racing heritage.
The problem is is that Liberty Media is currently doing an OK job with Formula One, but want to move it towards a different type sport, rather than a sport for the fans. When I went to Silverstone this year I went on Friday and the tickets were still hugely expensive, and F1 shouldn't be about expensive tickets but rather allowing thousands of people into seeing one of the best sports up close.
Please let me know what you think of this in the comments below.