For those planning to go to the inaugural Formula 1 race in Vietnam next year, we have some very bad news. Apart from not pushing through this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems the 2021 Vietnamese Grand Prix has been scrapped and removed from next year's calendar as well. Worse yet, it's still uncertain whether a race in 2022 will happen either.
Before you jump to conclusions as to why the race in Vietnam has been canceled, it's not because of a COVID-19 pandemic related issue. Instead, sources say that the race in Hanoi will no longer push through due to political and possibly even corruption-related issues in Vietnam.
The BBC reports that the move to cancel the Vietnamese Grand Prix was due to the arrest of a key government official responsible for the Hanoi race. Hanoi People's Committee chairman Nguyen Duc Chung was arrested over supposed corruption charges. Chung was known to have pushed for the race to occur with the national government.
Formula 1 has not yet officially confirmed the cancelation of the Vietnamese Grand Prix. However, sources say it won't be included in the provisional 2021 Formula 1 season calendar that will be announced later this week. With Vietnam looking out of the picture, there is one new race that is officially confirmed for next season – Saudi Arabia. The middle eastern country is scheduled to host its very first Formula 1 Grand Prix in Jeddah as a night race on November 28, 2021.
Unfortunately for us living in South East Asia, the nearest Formula 1 race would be the Singapore Grand Prix...assuming it pushes through in 2021. We will only know for sure once the organizers announce the official F1 calendar later this month.