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Vietnam GP officials concede defeat over 2020 race

By John Skilbeck
Vietnam

London, October 16: Vietnam Grand Prix officials have given up on hopes of staging their inaugural Formula One race in 2020, describing their decision as "extremely difficult but necessary".

Originally due to take place in April as the third event on the calendar, it was one of a host of races to be postponed as the COVID-19 crisis escalated.

There had been a possibility it could be rescheduled towards the back end of the season; however, talks have led to the conclusion that it cannot now take place.

A statement on the official race website said: "After numerous discussions among the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile [FIA], Formula One World Championship Ltd, the Hanoi People's Committee, and the Vietnamese Motorsports Association [VMA], the Vietnam Grand Prix Corporation [VGPC] regrets to announce that the 2020 Formula One Vietnamese Grand Prix will be cancelled.

"This has been an extremely difficult but necessary decision to reach in view of the continued uncertainty caused by the global coronavirus pandemic."

The 2020 season has seen the race programme trimmed from 22 to 17 races, with Australia and the United States among the countries to lose its races, while the flagship Monaco Grand Prix was also cancelled.

VGPC chief executive Le Ngoc Chi said: "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.

"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."

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Story first published: Friday, October 16, 2020, 13:20 [IST]
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