Vietnam claims F1 debut may yet come in November
The Hanoi People’s Committee, the ruling body of Vietnam’s capital city, has said the country could host its first Formula 1 Grand Prix in late November after a seven-month delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Vietnam Grand Prix was scheduled to take place in Hanoi on 5 April at My Dinh Stadium but was postponed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic spreading throughout the country.
At the time, race organisers, the Vietnam Grand Prix Corporation, said they would monitor the virus situation and pick another time for the race.
At a meeting attended by local media yesterday, Nguyen Duc Chung, HPC chairman, said: “We are assessing all virus-related issues and will discuss them with the organisers. Hopefully the race can be resumed by end of November.”
It is not clear if a November date has been discussed with Formula 1.
Due to a targeted testing programme and a centralised quarantine system, Vietnam has contained infection numbers to just 362, most of whom have recovered.
There have been no reported deaths and the country is now approaching three months without domestic transmission of the coronavirus.
The 2020 season started in Austria on Sunday, with an initial calendar which has eight races in Europe without spectators until September. It is uncertain about how many races there will be.
As of early this month, Formula 1 organisers have cancelled seven of the 22 races, while those to be held in Vietnam, Bahrain, China, Canada, Russia, USA, Mexico, Brazil and the UAE remain uncertain.
Hanoi has signed a 10-year contract to host the race starting this year, which can be extended further in its eighth year.
In other developments, Formula 1 has partnered with cloud-based video solutions company M2A Media to distribute customised live race streams to its broadcast partners.
Under the partnership, Formula 1 will adopt the M2A Connect web console to monitor live streams and deliver tailored video to multiple regions. M2A Connect also offers the ability to configure live sources, schedule events, add subscribers and rights and create live event workflows.
The M2A software will be used to deliver targeted advertising streams driven by Amazon Web Services Elemental Media Services.
The motor racing series will also use M2A Media’s Operation service, which will allow the series to set up and secure events and deliver last-minute changes to its end-to-end broadcast transmissions.
Trevor Turner, Formula 1’s head of media systems development, said: "The M2A Connect service is a step change in the evolution of Formula 1’s broadcast distribution model. M2A Connect, in essence, allow Formula 1 to service a greater number of broadcast partners in a more flexible and cost-effective way and will help us distribute a greater volume of live race content than ever before.
“The team at M2A understands the challenges we face as a global sports brand and has responded to these challenges with a next generation media service that will help carry us into an IP over cloud-led future.”
M2A Media’s portfolio includes Formula 1 broadcast partners, including international streaming service DAZN and UK commercial network Channel 4.
Meanwhile, French pay-TV broadcaster, has claimed strong audience figures for the opening race of the season.
An average of 1.06 million viewers and a peak of 1.24 million tuned in for the Austrian Grand Prix held at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.
It was the sixth best audience for a grand prix on Canal Plus since Formula 1 was first broadcast on the channel in 2013.
The season continues with the Styrian Grand Prix, a second race at the Red Bull Ring, next weekend.